Attract birds to your yard

Cover Photo: Baltimore Orioles love oranges! Ohio, Magee Marsh May 2010 from the Surfbirds galleries © Glyn Sellors

Most of us start watching birds close to home, at a window or in our backyard. One more way to see more birds is to make your home and backyard more attractive to them. The key is to provide the basic necessities for birds: food, water, and shelter.


Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Mark Szantyr from Surfbirds Galleries

The commonest hummingbird across most of the eastern US is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. As you head west, the diversity of hummingbird species increase, climaxing with a dizzying array of beauties fighting each other at feeders in southeast Arizona.

Below is a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird. This small green and white hummingbird is the only species found across most of the eastern US.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird by Steve Metz from Surfbirds Galleries

In California, the commonest hummingbird is the Anna's Hummingbird (below). It looks very similar to a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (which is not found in California) but the male has a bright pinkish purple forehead.

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird by Steve Metz from Surfbirds Galleries

When it catches the light, the male's throat feathers are very striking.

anna's Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird by Kirk Zufelt from Surfbirds Galleries

As you head out to the deserts of California, Costa's Hummingbirds can be encountered. Look out for the male's purplish-blue sword-like throat feathers.

costa's Hummingbird

Costa's Hummingbird by Birdseekers from Surfbirds Galleries

Broad-tailed Hummingbirds occur across mountain meadows across the western US.

broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird by Ryan O'Donnell from Surfbirds Galleries

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbirds have buff flanks.

costa's Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird by Bill Schmoker from Surfbirds Galleries

In California, orange and green hummingbirds are Allen's

costa's Hummingbird

Allen's Hummingbird by Mark S. Szantyr from Surfbirds Galleries

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4