Meet the Brilliantly Colored Buff-Bellied Hummingbird
Buff-bellied hummingbirds shimmer in southern Texas. Find out what they look like, what foods they eat, and where they build their nests.
What Does a Buff-Bellied Hummingbird Look Like?
It’s easy to tell if you’re looking at a buff-bellied hummingbird; there isn’t any other hummingbird in the United States that resembles it. Trademark buff-bellied traits include a red bill with a black tip, shimmery green feathers along the back, a brown breast and reddish brown tail feathers.
“This is a buff-bellied hummingbird (above). The moment when I first noticed the species almost a decade ago now was what got me into hummingbirds and birding, and now I travel all over the world just to get a glimpse of different species. The tail fan is what I wait for, with all those pretty rufous/orange colors,” says Emily Zamora.
Range and Habitat
Head to the Lone Star State if you’d like to find a buff-bellied hummingbird in the U.S. The southern point of Texas is the only place in the country where you’ll be able to find them. But there’s good news, too—this hummingbird lives there year-round, so you won’t have to make a special trip during migration or breeding season! Less commonly, these hummers will extend their range through the southeastern edge of Texas and into southern Louisiana after the breeding season ends.
Buff-bellied hummingbirds have a variety of habitats. You might spot them in brushy fields or around the woods, or you might add one to your life list after seeing it in suburban gardens or a local park.
“I live and work in Deep South Texas, down near the U.S./Mexico border. A friend of mine invited me to photograph buff-bellied hummingbirds (above) with him a while back during the winter. Both the time and the results were wonderful!” says Ruth Hoyt.
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What Does a Buff-Bellied Hummingbird Eat?
These adorable birds visit backyards, and they will come to hummingbird feeders. Offer the the perfect sugar water mixture to attract them. In gardens, they especially enjoy sipping nectar from red salvia plants and other tube-shaped flowers. Buff-bellied hummingbirds also eat mosquitoes and other small insects.
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Buff-Bellied Hummingbird Nest
Buff-bellied hummingbirds generally build nests in a few favorite species of trees, including hackberry, pecan, ash and Texas ebony. They’ll position the nest in the fork of the tree.
Here’s everything you need to know about hummingbird nests.