A Few New Mexico Hummingbirds

(Apodiformes or Trochiliformes)


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)

Once spring arrives, these are the hummingbirds in Albuquerque. For males, the purple band at the base of the throat clinches the species ID. That's assuming that the light catches those feathers just right. Otherwise, the male's throat looks all black.


Broad-Tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus)

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