New Mexico Birds: Apodiformes (Hummingbirds)


For decades I put out sugar water for the neighborhood hummers, without trying to photograph them. As of the spring of 2020, that changed. The first thing I learned is how much patience and talent goes into effective hummingbird photographs! As opposed to my lack of both.


So far, I've seen only black-chinned hummingbirds at my feeder. That's not surprising, since they're the only species that summers and breeds in Albuquerque. Broad-tailed hummingbirds spend their summers in the mountains, and other hummers only pass through on their way north or south.


Black-Chinned Hummingbird (Archilocus alexandri)

For males, the purple band at the base of the throat provides a species ID. That's assuming that the light catches those feathers just right. Otherwise, the throat looks all black.


Broad-Tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus)

Broad-tailed hummingbirds breed in New Mexico but up in the mountains. In the side-lit picture, you can see a bit of the coloration under the tail.