Most people haven’t seen hummingbirds before in real life because they are not very common worldwide and only live in certain places.
Like most birds, they need specific environments to live in comfortably. Hummingbirds can only survive in areas with particular temperature, fresh water, meet their basic needs for food, including insects and abundant nectar, shelter, and safe nesting sites. So, where is the perfect place for hummingbirds to live?
Hummingbirds live in North and South America. The Americas are actually the only natural habitat of hummingbirds, and they can be found as south as Chile and up north all the way in Alaska. Most hummingbirds live in South America and can migrate for the winters. They are rarely ever found outside of the Americas.
Read ahead to learn more about where hummingbirds live, the kind of environments they prefer, how they migrate, and more information you might enjoy.
Where in the World do Hummingbirds Live?
If you live in North or South America, you may be shocked to learn that hummingbirds do not live in any other part of the world! Hummingbirds are only found in the Western Hemisphere, comprising the North and South American continents.
Scientists think that hummingbirds used to live in Europe previously and have found old hummingbird fossils in Germany, Poland, and France. These fossils are between 30 to 35 million years old. However, it is unknown when or why the hummingbirds decided to leave Europe and travel to the Americas and why they never returned. This is a big mystery in the scientific world that has yet to be unraveled.
In Asia and Africa, there is a species of bird that is quite similar to hummingbirds. These birds are known as sunbirds, and they, too, drink nectar like hummingbirds. However, they are different species altogether, despite any similarities.
In America, hummingbirds are found most commonly in the tropics. There are over 150 species of hummingbirds in Colombia and Ecuador. Around 17 species are found within the United States, with a concentration near the Mexico border. However, despite concentrations towards the tropics, some hummingbirds can also be found far up North in Alaska and as low south as Chile and Argentina.
What Is a Hummingbird’s Natural Habitat?
The Hummingbird’s natural habitat is quite diverse. They have been found living high up in the Andes Mountains at altitudes of 20,000 feet or even down at sea level. They can live happily and comfortably deep in the jungles, forests, meadows, fields, deserts, and even cities.
Their habitat mostly depends on where they can find food. A hummingbird’s diet is made up of nectar from flowers and a combination of insects. This means that hummingbirds can live and settle in various kinds of places as long as they have access to food.
In recent years, hummingbirds have been seen more and more in cities and suburban areas. The ruby-throated hummingbird can live in New York City and San Francisco. Hummingbirds that live in places populated by humans can easily become accustomed to humans. They even fly close to humans that they feel they can trust.
Where Do Hummingbirds Go in Winter?
Hummingbirds are some of the smallest birds in the world, and their small bodies cannot always cope with the cold. For this reason, a majority of hummingbirds in Canada and the United States migrate to warmer places. They fly to Mexico or Central America in the winters.
But the cold weather is not the only reason hummingbirds fly south. They also fly south in search of food. In the winters, most flowers wither away, and those that remain are covered by snow and difficult to reach. For this reason, they fly to warmer parts of the continent for easier access to food.
What Kind of Nests Do Hummingbirds build?
Hummingbirds build their nests in trees and shrubs, high up from the ground where they are safe. They are likely to choose slender tree branches around 15 feet tall to build their nests on. Sometimes, hummingbirds have also been seen building nests along electrical wires, clotheslines, lamps, porch lights, and other horizontal surfaces.
Hummingbirds use small leaves, lichens, and twigs to build their nests. They also use spider webs to help keep the web together. The primary purpose of the nests is to keep their eggs safe until they hatch.
How Can You Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard?
While hummingbirds may not come live in your yard and build their nests there, they can certainly come to visit. If you’re hoping to attract hummingbirds to your yard, the best way to go about it is by leaving out nectar for them to drink. You can leave out bird feeders with sugar water or plant bright and nectar-producing flowers like bee balms, sages, and honeysuckles in your yard.
How Long Do Hummingbirds Live?
The average lifespan of a hummingbird is 3 to 5 years, but most die within the first year of their lives. Once a hummingbird surpasses that first year, its life expectancy goes up significantly.
The lifespan of hummingbirds varies by species, with some larger species like Giant Hummingbirds and Buff-Bellied Hummingbirds living longer than other smaller species.
However, all hummingbirds have a relatively short lifespan when compared to other birds.
This is likely due to the fact that they must expend so much energy just to stay alive and predation. Their high metabolism and need for constant sustenance means that they age quickly and don’t live as long as other bird species. But despite their short lifespans, hummingbirds are truly fascinating creatures that are well worth our attention and admiration.
Which Hummingbirds Are Most Common?
There are over 330 species of hummingbirds. Certain species of hummingbirds are more common in some areas than other species. The Ruby-throated hummingbird is most commonly found in Canada and the United States. The Gulf region has a large variety, and many different species live there. In the western parts of the United States, you can commonly see Anna’s Hummingbirds, the Black-Chinned Hummingbirds, and the Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds, amongst others.
While hummingbirds were thought to live in Europe many years ago, they now only live in the Americas and can only be found in North and South America. There are no hummingbirds in any other part of the world.
If you live in North or South America, do you think you will try to leave out nectar to attract hummingbirds near your house? Let us know in the comments below.