Two Hummingbirds: Which is Which?

  • Here are some clues people use to tell these two hummingbirds apart. They are called field marks.
  • What else did you see? What questions do you have about these tiny birds?

  Ruby-throated hummingbird (male):

  • Red throat that sparkles (can look black in different light)
  • Greenish back, "dirty" white below
  • Forked tail
  Rufous hummingbird (male):
  • Throat, tail, and sides that are brownish-red or rust colored (That's what rufous means!)
  • White chest
   Photos: Top - Jerry Blinn, AviSys; Bottom - Dean Briggins, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service