Ruby Throated Hummingbird

We have been noticing a Hummingbird at our feeder that has markings that are different from the usual Hummingbirds ( Mostly Anna's and a Rufus).    We think it is a Ruby Throated Hummingbird.   However, we found out that this type of Hummingbird does not migrate along the west coast of the U.S.    But there are some rare occasions when one is spotted.    Attached is a photo.   The markings match very very close to the images we see online from other birding organizations that list the Ruby Throated Hummingbird.   He has the Black-greyish head mask.  No solid white line that separates his eye from the Ruby color of his neck.   Slight green tinge on body.  But mostly white with grey feathers.   Was hoping we could get a confirmation if possible.    

Thank you,


John Boyd, Santa Barbara - July 10, 2020

Curator Response

Hi John,

Hope this doesn’t dampen your enthusiasm for watching the hummers at your feeder, but this looks like an adult male Anna’s Hummingbird to us.

Note that below the red throat the feathers grade into a mottled green. In the male Ruby-throated Hummingbird, there is a distinct white area separating the red throat from the greenish breast feathers. Also note that in the Ruby-throated Hummingbird there should be a black chin (the area immediately under the mouth, not the throat) and no white through the eye (just a little patch of white directly behind the eye). The bird in the picture has a noticeable patch of white through the eye and no black chin. If you look closely at the photos, you can also see some of the red iridescence going up and over the head. These features are a better match for Anna’s Hummingbird.

Keep watching! We hope something rare turns up for you,

Curators of Vertebrate Zoology Paul Collins, M.A., and Krista Fahy, Ph.D.