The Black-Chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) is one of several hummingbird species native to our area. Male black-chinned hummingbirds can be identified by their black face and chin, with a purple throat band. Both the male and female have a metallic green back with a white abdomen. Like most hummingbirds, they have a long, slender beak.
If you’d like to see more of our many hummingbird species, consider adding a feeder to your deck. To make a safe humming bird food, mix 1 cup of white sugar with 3-4 cups of water, bring it to a boil and then cool before adding it to the feeder. Never add food dyes to the mixture or use artificial sweeteners or honey, as these contain ingredients which can make hummingbirds ill. This simple mixture is very similar to the flower nectar which is hummingbirds’ natural food source. It is also important to regularly check and clean your feeder, as molds which are toxic to hummingbirds can grow in a feeder that is not cleaned.
Interesting facts about Black-Chinned Hummingbirds:
- Baby black-chinned hummingbirds are born featherless, but grow a complete set of feathers within three weeks of hatching.
- Hummingbirds can beat their wings up to 70 times a minute, moving them in a full circle, unlike other types of birds
- The black-chinned hummingbird has the smallest known genome of all living amniotes (birds, reptiles and mammals), only 910 million base pairs
- Black-chinned hummingbirds may build their nests near those of larger, predatory birds to help protect their own young
- Hummingbirds have very keen sight, and can even see ultraviolet light, which is invisible to humans.