Massachusetts is home to a wide variety of bird species, but one of the most fascinating and most beautiful are hummingbirds. These tiny birds are incredibly fast and agile, and they often come into backyards to feed on sweet nectar. Here’s a guide to understanding when do hummingbirds arrive in Massachusetts.
Hummingbird Diversity In Massachusetts
Massachusetts is home to several different types of hummingbirds, including Ruby-throated, Black-chinned, Rufous, Calliope, and Anna’s Hummingbirds. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the most widely recognized of all hummingbirds that reside in the state, and it’s found east of the Mississippi River. These birds have bright green feathers on their backs, white feathers on their bellies, and a patch of red feathers on their throats.
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When Do Hummingbirds Arrive In Massachusetts?
Hummingbirds begin their migration back to Massachusetts in early April, but don’t expect them all at once. Depending on where you live in the state, some species may have already started hummingbird migration earlier in March or may not arrive until late May.
The exact arrival time for each species varies depending on weather conditions—if it’s cold, they may be delayed; if it’s warm, they may come sooner than expected. As such, it’s best to keep an eye out for them throughout spring as you go about your yard work or bird-watching excursions. They are actually returning from Central America, so they are coming quite a distance to make it back home.
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Attracting Hummingbirds To Your Yard
If you’re eager for hummingbirds to arrive in your garden sooner rather than later, there are several things you can do to attract them.
First off, make sure that there are plenty of flowering plants and trees in your yard—especially those that produce hummingbird nectar-rich flowers like trumpet vine or bee balm. You should also place several hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water around your property so that they have an easily accessible source of food when they arrive.
Finally, make sure that there are plenty of perches available for them to rest on while they feed or fly around your garden. This can include branches from trees as well as structures like garden arbors or trellises covered by climbing vines.
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Hummingbirds In Massachusetts
Read on to find out which species of hummingbirds can be found in the Bay State.
The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
The most common hummingbird species found in Massachusetts is the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). This small bird has a shiny green back and an underbelly that ranges from white to light gray, with males having a distinctive red throat patch. Females tend to have a more subdued throat coloration, ranging from white to pinkish-gray.
The Rufous Hummingbird
Another species of hummingbird that can be spotted in Massachusetts is the rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus Rufus). This species is slightly larger than the ruby-throated hummingbird and has bright orange-red feathers on its back with a slightly darker underside.
The males also have a brilliant red throat patch with some streaks of black along their sides while male ruby-throated hummingbird throats are more of a solid color. The rufous hummingbirds migrate through Massachusetts during their annual spring migration from Mexico to Alaska where they will spend most of their time breeding and nesting before heading back south again for winter.
The Black-Chinned Hummingbird
Finally, there’s the black-chinned hummingbird. This species is slightly larger than both the ruby-throated and rufous hummers but still relatively small compared to other birds at only 3 inches long. It has green feathers on its back with a greyish underside sprinkled with reddish patches on its chest area near its wings and tail feathers. The male has a distinctive black chin patch which gives it its name. Ruby-throated hummingbirds spend the majority of their time in Massachusetts during the summer months but can be spotted as late as mid-October.
Other Hummingbirds in Massachusetts include the Calliope Hummingbirds, Broad-tailed hummingbirds, Anna’s hummingbirds, and Costa’s hummingbirds.
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Where To Spot A Hummingbird In Massachusetts?
Whether you’re an experienced birder or just want to see this unique creature, here is some information about where you can find hummingbirds in Massachusetts.
The meadows of western Massachusetts provide an ideal habitat for many species, including the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. The meadows provide abundant nectar sources, such as wildflowers, for these birds during their migration period. Plus, the trees and shrubs offer them shelter as they make their way south. A great spot to look for hummingbirds is Quabbin Reservoir, State Park. Here you will find plenty of meadow grasses and wildflowers that attract these small birds throughout the summer months.
Hummingbirds can also be found along the coastlines of Massachusetts. In particular, they are attracted to areas with salt marshes and tall grasses like those found at Plum Island or Cape Cod Bay beaches. These habitats offer plenty of nectar sources as well as protection from predators; making them an ideal place to rest during their long journey southward. Keep an eye out for these tiny birds perched on tree branches or hovering over flowers as you explore your local coastal areas this summer.
Astal regions and meadows are not the only places to look for hummingbirds in Massachusetts. With the help of human activity, many species have taken up residence in suburban yards across the state. Hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water have been known to attract these birds, so be sure to keep an eye out for them if you have coastal Islands
In addition to the mainland, various coastal islands of Massachusetts also present prime habitats for these birds. Martha’s Vineyard is a well-known summer nesting site for many species of hummingbirds including Rufous Hummingbirds and Black-chinned Hummingbirds.
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Hummingbirds are one of the most fascinating birds found in Massachusetts. They may be tiny, but they’re full of life and spirit! Whether you spot them in a meadow, along the coast, or even in your own backyard, these small creatures are sure to bring joy and amazement to all those lucky enough to catch a glimpse of them. So, keep your eyes open and maybe you’ll be lucky enough to spot one of these beautiful birds.