About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, April 4, 2011

How Many Species of Hummingbirds are in the World?

A color plate illustration from Ernst Haeckel'...Image via Wikipedia
There are lots of different hummingbird species. In fact hummingbirds are the second most specious bird family on earth (after the tyrant flycatchers).

Scientist believe there are between 325 and 340 species of hummingbirds. The taxonomy or scientific classification of some groups has changed significantly in recent years. The division of some species were found to be slightly inaccurate, however further analysis is needed before all the ornithological organizations can come to an agreement.

In mid-Michigan you are most likely going to see the Ruby-throated Hummingbird at your flowers and nectar feeders from April until October. The adult male has an emerald green back, iridescent ruby red gorget (throat), gray flanks, and a white belly. The adult female is similar to the male except it has a white breast and throat. The young look like the adult female.

Although seen rarely, the other hummingbird species that have been sighted in Michigan are the Rufous Hummingbird, the Broad-billed Hummingbird, the Green Violet-eared Hummingbird and the White-eared Hummingbird.

A few of the flowers that Michigan hummingbirds like are:

* Bleeding heart
* Cardinal Flower
* Columbine
* Coral Bells
* Daylily
* Delphinium
* Foxglove
* Fuchsia
* Hollyhocks
* Hosta
* Honeysuckle
* Larkspur
* Lilac
* Mint
* Milkweed, Butterfly
* Monarda
* Morning Glory
* Obedient plant
* Sage
* Salvia
* Snapdragon
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