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West Texas Hummingbirds

Location: West Texas

Camera Host: West Texas Avian Research, Inc

Find more about Weather in Fort Davis, TX

August 31, 2016

Frenzied Morning at Perky-Pet® Feeder

Even though the weather in West Texas this morning is overcast and rainy, it isn't stopping these voracious little hummingbirds from getting a chance at the Perky-Pet® feeder. 

August 22, 2016

Female Magnificent Takes a Long Drink, Shows Tongue

This female Magnificent Hummingbird stopped by the Perky-Pet® Feeder for a long drink. In between bouts of feeding, you can get a glimpse of its tiny tongue protruding from the beak. Recent research suggests that hummingbirds use their tongues as tiny pumps that allow the birds to quickly take-in nectar. Hummingbirds have flexible, grooved tongues that stay compressed when protruding from the bill in search of nectar. Once the tongue comes contact with a nectar source, the grooves expand and quickly load up with nectar that the bird can then lick up! 

August 20, 2016

Juvenile Male Magnificent Stops By

Watch this clip of a juvenile male Magnificent Hummingbird flying up to the left side of the feeder before switch to the right. The scaly appearance of the breast and underparts along with flashes of the iridescent turquoise gorget and metallic purple above the eyes are characteristic of a juvenile male. 

August 31, 2016

Frenzied Morning at Perky-Pet® Feeder

Even though the weather in West Texas this morning is overcast and rainy, it isn't stopping these voracious little hummingbirds from getting a chance at the Perky-Pet® feeder. 

August 22, 2016

Female Magnificent Takes a Long Drink, Shows Tongue

This female Magnificent Hummingbird stopped by the Perky-Pet® Feeder for a long drink. In between bouts of feeding, you can get a glimpse of its tiny tongue protruding from the beak. Recent research suggests that hummingbirds use their tongues as tiny pumps that allow the birds to quickly take-in nectar. Hummingbirds have flexible, grooved tongues that stay compressed when protruding from the bill in search of nectar. Once the tongue comes contact with a nectar source, the grooves expand and quickly load up with nectar that the bird can then lick up! 

August 20, 2016

Juvenile Male Magnificent Stops By

Watch this clip of a juvenile male Magnificent Hummingbird flying up to the left side of the feeder before switch to the right. The scaly appearance of the breast and underparts along with flashes of the iridescent turquoise gorget and metallic purple above the eyes are characteristic of a juvenile male. 

July 07

Texas Hummingbird Cam Re-launches

Today we're happy to re-launch the West Texas Hummingbird Cam, sponsored by Perky-Pet®. The West Texas Hummingbird Feeder Cam is nestled in the mountains outside Fort Davis, Texas, at an elevation of over 6,200 feet. During peak migration, this site hosts 24 Perky-Pet® Grand Master hummingbird feeders, and can attract hundreds of hummingbirds from a dozen species that are migrating through the arid mountains. Right now, most of the birds on cam are local breeders, and we can expect the numbers and diversity to grow as the summer moves toward the fall.  

Commonly Seen Species

Rufous Hummingbird

The feistiest hummingbird in North America. The brilliant orange male and the green-and-orange female Rufous Hummingbird are relentless attackers at flowers and feeders, going after (if not always defeating) even the large hummingbirds of the Southwest, which can be double their weight. Rufous Hummingbirds are wide-ranging, and breed farther north than any other hummingbird. Look for them in spring in California, summer in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and fall in the Rocky Mountains as they make their annual circuit of the West. More

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

A flash of green and red, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is eastern North America’s sole breeding hummingbird. These brilliant, tiny, precision-flying creatures glitter like jewels in the full sun, then vanish with a zip toward the next nectar source. Feeders and flower gardens are great ways to attract these birds, and some people turn their yards into buzzing clouds of hummingbirds each summer. Enjoy them while they’re around; by early fall they’re bound for Central America, with many crossing the Gulf of Mexico in a single flight. More

Black-chinned Hummingbird

A small green-backed hummingbird of the West, with no brilliant colors on its throat except a thin strip of iridescent purple bordering the black chin, only visible when light hits it just right. Black-chinned Hummingbirds are exceptionally widespread, found from deserts to mountain forests. Many winter along the Gulf Coast. Often perches at the very top of a bare branch. Low-pitched humming sound produced by wings. More

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

A hummingbird of subalpine meadows, the Broad-tailed Hummingbird ranges across the south-central Rockies in summer. It possesses a number of physiological and behavioral adaptations to survive cold nights, including the ability to enter torpor, slowing its heart rate and dropping its body temperature. More

Calliope Hummingbird

The smallest bird in North America north of Mexico, the Calliope Hummingbird inhabits mountain areas of the northwestern United States. It is the smallest long-distance avian migrant in the world, spending its winters in Mexico. More

Lucifer Hummingbird

The tiny, vividly purple-throated Lucifer Hummingbird is mainly a species of northern Mexico and central Mexico. Where it reaches the United States, in extreme southern Arizona, New Mexico, and west Texas, it’s a highly sought-after species among avid birders. Lucifer Hummingbird belongs to a group of hummingbird species called “sheartails,” named for their deeply forked, narrow tail. More

Magnificent Hummingbird

Aptly named for its spectacular plumage, the Magnificent Hummingbird is one of several hummingbird species found in southeast Arizona but not regularly elsewhere in the United States. The species was known as Rivoli’s Hummingbird until the mid-1980s. More

White-eared Hummingbird

These territorial hummingbirds spend most of their time at the lower and middle levels of the forest where they are particularly common near banks of low flowers. They live in pine-oak, oak, and pine-evergreen forests, and are also found in clearings filled with flowers. Both males and females have a dark cheek bordered by a long white stripe behind the eye, and both have some extent of red on the bill. Their metallic chipping song also helps identify them from similar species. More

Mexican Violetear (rare visitor to cam)

The Mexican Violetear is locally common in montane regions from Mexico through Nicaragua. It is one of five species of violetears (Colibri), all of which have a patch of elongated violet feathers on the sides of the head. The Mexican Violetear is the northernmost species, and often have a blue patch on the breast and may have a blue chin. In the three other species, which occur from Costa Rica south to Argentina, the chin and breast are green. The Mexican Violetear inhabits highland forest borders, clearings and highland pastures at elevations between 600-2800 m. Mexican Violetears usually are solitary, foraging and singing alone. More

Allen’s Hummingbird (rare visitor to cam)

Extremely similar in appearance to the widespread Rufous Hummingbird, the Allen’s Hummingbird breeds only along a narrow strip of coastal California and southern Oregon. More

Anna’s Hummingbird (rare visitor to cam)

Anna’s Hummingbirds are among the most common hummingbirds along the Pacific Coast, yet they’re anything but common in appearance. With their iridescent emerald feathers and sparkling rose-pink throats, they are more like flying jewelry than birds. Though no larger than a ping-pong ball and no heavier than a nickel, Anna’s Hummingbirds make a strong impression. In their thrilling courtship displays, males climb up to 130 feet into the air and then swoop to the ground with a curious burst of noise that they produce through their tail feathers. More

Blue-throated Hummingbird (rare visitor to cam)

The largest hummingbird found north of Mexico, the Blue-throated Hummingbird reaches the northern limit of its range in southeastern Arizona. It inhabits streamside habitat in mountain canyons. More

About the Site

Perky Pet Bird Feeders
The West Texas Hummingbird Feeder Cam is sponsored by Perky-Pet®.

 

 

 

The West Texas Hummingbird Feeder Cam is nestled in the mountains outside Fort Davis, Texas, at an elevation of over 6200 feet. This site hosts a total of 24 Perky Pet Grand Master hummingbird feeders, and during peak migration can attract hundreds of hummingbirds from a dozen species that are migrating through the arid mountains. (Check the “Species Info” tab for more information on the hummingbird species.)
Hummingbird Feeder Cam Site

For the past 10 years, researchers from West Texas Avian Research have been banding hummingbirds at this site and others throughout the Trans-Pecos region of Texas to study the status and distribution of hummingbirds throughout the poorly known region. The active banding of hummingbirds continues (off camera) at this site in the Davis Mountains, and from time to time you may hear researchers working in the background. Some common species in you may hear vocalizing include Western Scrub Jays, Acorn Woodpeckers, and Canyon Wrens (among others).

Acknowledgments

Thanks to West Texas Avian Research for their enthusiasm and support for hosting the camera at this remote research site.