7 Species of Blue Hummingbirds in North America (Photo and ID Guide)

Rivolis hummingbird male
Rivoli’s Hummingbird male (credit: Nate Steiner)

If you need help with identifying blue hummingbirds you have spotted, then look no further as this will guide you on the 7 hummingbirds in North America that are blue, or have blue colored areas, such as their throats.

Hummingbirds can be difficult to identify as they are so small and fast, but if you have hummingbird feeders or if they take a moment to rest in their busy lives, then you can get a good look and check out which of these birds you have spotted.

7 Blue Hummingbirds in North America:

1. Broad-billed Hummingbird

broad billed hummingbird male
Male
broad billed hummingbird female
Female

Broad-billed Hummingbirds are brilliantly colored, even among hummingbirds. The males are rich metallic green all over with a blue throat that extends down the breast. Females have a pale belly, and both males and females have red beaks that are black-tipped and wide near their heads.

  • Length: 3.1 – 3.9 in (8-10 cm)
  • Weight: 0.1-0.1 oz (3-4 g)

Broad-billed Hummingbirds are resident all year in central Mexico and the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Some birds migrate north into mountain canyons in southern Arizona and New Mexico for breeding between March and September, and a few remain all year near the Mexican border.

Canyon streams and mountain meadows provide the ideal foraging areas for Broad-billed Hummingbirds, but they will also visit backyard feeders. Nests are built quite low to the ground at about 3 feet near streams.

2. Rivoli’s Hummingbird

Rivolis hummingbird male
Rivoli’s Hummingbird male (credit: Nate Steiner)
Rivoli’s Hummingbird female (credit: Nate Steiner)

Rivoli’s Hummingbirds are large hummingbirds with more striking coloring than most hummingbirds as they have an iridescent purple crown as well as the more usual iridescent throat in the males, which is emerald green. Males are dark green, and the females are green on the back and grayish underneath.

  • Length: 4.3-5.5 in (11-14 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.3 oz (7-8 g)

Rivoli’s Hummingbirds are resident in Mexico and Central America, but some do migrate north into southern Arizona and New Mexico, and southwestern Texas. They can be found in pine-oak forests in mountainous regions but will visit feeders in their range. They build nests relatively high up.

3. Blue-throated Mountain-gem

A Male Blue-throated mountain gem

The Blue-throated Mountain-gem is the largest hummingbird that nest in the United States, and as the name suggests, the males have iridescent blue throats. Both male and female Blue-throated Mountain gems are bronzy-green on the back and grayish below, with white tips on the black tail feathers.

  • Length: 4.3-4.7 in (11-12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.3-0.3 oz (8.1-8.6 g)

Mostly resident in Mexico, but some Blue-throated Mountain gems move north short distances into southeastern Arizona and southwestern Texas. Mountain woodlands along streams with lots of flowers or backyards with feeders are the best places to spot Blue-throated Mountain gems. They feed more in the morning and late afternoon, out of midday heat.

Nests of Blue-throated Mountain gems are larger than most to accommodate their larger size and can measure 2 inches wide and 3 – 10 inches high.

4. Mexican Violetear

mexican violetear

Mexican Violetears are medium-sized hummingbirds that are metallic green with violet patches on the sides of their heads and breasts.

  • Length: 3.8 – 4.7 in (9.7 – 12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.17 – 0.2 oz (4.8 – 5.6 g)

Mexican Violetears breed in forests in Mexico and through Central America to Nicaragua but can be found as far south as the mountains in Bolivia and Venezuela. Some non-breeding Mexican Violetears may fly north into the United States to central and southern Texas.

5. Costa’s Hummingbird

costas hummingbird
Male
Costa's hummingbird female
Female

Costa’s Hummingbirds are predominantly desert hummingbirds with striking iridescent purple throat patches that flare out and a purple crown. Their backs are green, and their bellies are white with green coloring on the sides. Female Costa’s Hummingbirds lack the purple color and are more white on the belly.

  • Length: 3.5 in ( 7.6 – 8.8 cm)
  • Weight: 0.1-0.1 oz (2-3 g)

Costa’s Hummingbirds are residents in Baja California and southern California, and southwestern Arizona. They also migrate between the Pacific Coast of Mexico in winter and up into Arizona, the southern edges of Nevada and Utah, and California for breeding.

Desert scrub, chaparral, and deciduous forest provide the habitat of Costa’s Hummingbirds, and they visit many different species of plants. Nests are built quite low at three to seven feet above the ground in shrubs, and they may have up to two broods in a year.

6. Black-chinned Hummingbird

black chinned hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird male
Black chinned hummingbird female
Black-chinned Hummingbird Female (credit: Gary Leavens)

Black-chinned Hummingbirds are dull metallic green on the back and grayish-white underneath.  The males have a black throat with a thin iridescent purple base, and the females have a pale throat and white tips on the tail feathers.

  • Length: 3.5 in (9 cm)
  • Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz (2.3-4.9 g)
  • Wingspan: 4.3 in (11 cm)

Black-chinned Hummingbirds breed predominantly inland in western states from British Columbia to Baja California in summer. After breeding, they may move to higher mountain areas with abundant flowers before migrating to western Mexico, southern California, and the Gulf Coast in the winter. Migration of Black-chinned Hummingbirds usually occurs in March and September.

They eat nectar, small insects, and spiders, and their tongues can lick 13-17 times per second when feeding on nectar. Nests of Black-chinned Hummingbirds are made of plant down and spider silk to hold them together, and they lay 2 tiny white eggs that are only 0.6 in (1.3 cm)

Black-chinned Hummingbirds can often be seen sitting at the top of dead trees on tiny bare branches and often return to a favorite perch. They can be found along canyons and rivers or by shady oaks.

7. Green-breasted Mango

Green-breasted Mango male and female pair

Green-breasted mangoes are glossy bright green on the back, and the males have a blackish throat bordered with blue on the chest. Females are white underneath with a black stripe in the middle with a few bluish-green metallic feathers.

  • Length: 4.3 – 4.7 in ( 11 – 12 cm)
  • Weight: 0.24-0.25 oz (6.8 – 7.2 g)

Green-breasted Mangos are found near the coasts of Mexico and Central America and some down to northern South America. Their habitat is tropical deciduous forests, gardens, and some open or lightly wooded areas.

The Green-breasted Mango is very rare in North America, but a few have been sighted in Texas on the southeastern border with Mexico.