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Allen's Hummingbird

Silhouette HummingbirdsHummingbirds
Allen's HummingbirdSelasphorus sasin
  • ORDER: Caprimulgiformes
  • FAMILY: Trochilidae

Basic Description

In early spring, a narrow strip of scrub and chaparral along the Pacific Coast starts buzzing with the sights and sounds of the coppery and green Allen's Hummingbird. Males flash their brilliant reddish orange throat and put on an elaborate show for the females, swinging in pendulous arcs before climbing high into the sky and diving back down with a sharp squeal made by their tails. These early migrants mostly spend the winter in Mexico, but some stay in southern California year-round.

More ID Info
image of range map for Allen's Hummingbird
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

When the earliest signs of spring are just starting to show up along the West Coast, it's time to look for Allen's Hummingbirds. They arrive in coastal scrub and chaparral as early as January and start displaying shortly thereafter, which makes them easier to find. Check the tops of shrubs for a male surveying his territory, or listen for the bumblebee sounds and sharp squeals of his display flight. Checking out hummingbird feeders, especially during migration, is another good way to spot an Allen's Hummingbird.

Other Names

  • Colibrí de Allen (Spanish)
  • Colibri d'Allen (French)

Backyard Tips

If you live within the range of the Allen’s Hummingbird, putting up a sugar water feeder may give you an opportunity to watch one in your yard. Use a ratio of one-part table sugar dissolved in four parts water, and don’t use food coloring. Learn more about feeding hummingbirds. Adding flowers to your yard is another way to attract hummingbirds while also adding beauty to your yard. Learn more about flowers vs. feeders for hummingbirds at Project Feederwatch.

  • Cool Facts