51 of the Most Colorful Hummingbirds in the World

Birds are among the most radiant creatures on the planet. And while plenty of people read the word “hummingbird” and picture only one type of bird, there are hundreds of species classified as hummingbirds, and they make up a whole rainbow of color!

Here’s our list of the world’s most colorful hummingbirds:

1. Long-Tailed Sylph

Long-Tailed Sylph perched on branch.
  • Latin name: Aglaiocercus kingii
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout much of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Venezuela
  • Size: Males are about 6.3″-7.5″ long; females are about 3.8″-4.6″ long
  • Diet: Nectar and insects
  • Colorful feature: While both males and females of this species are quite colorful, males are especially bright. Their bodies are mostly metallic green, but their backs and tails are brilliant blue. Often, there is a dark blue along the centerline of the body, and it fades to lighter blue at the edges. Females have greenish bodies with cinnamon-colored underparts, and they are less metallic than males.

Sylphs are mysterious spirits of the air found in mythology, so it’s no wonder that the long-tailed sylph (and related species) carry this name. To the untrained eye, they may not even look like hummingbirds, as they have short beaks and exceptionally long tails!

2. Velvet-Purple Coronet

Velvet-Purple Coronet perched on branch.
  • Latin name: Boissonneaua jardini
  • Habitat: Found across the Pacific slope of the Andes from southwestern Colombia to northwestern Ecuador
  • Size: About 4.3″-5″ long
  • Diet: Nectar and insects
  • Colorful feature: These appropriately-named little birds have dark purple heads and largely light purple iridescent bodies. Their wings are partially glistening green and yellow, and the sides of the body are bright sky blue to turquoise.

This colorful little bird is part of a “tribe” of hummingbirds known as the “brilliants.” And though it’s beautiful, it can be aggressive. Once it finds a collection of nectar-bearing flowers, it will guard those flowers from other species that feed on nectar. It’s also a skilled hunter. It sits on a perch and will swoop down to catch insects in flight.

3. Green-Backed Firecrown

Close-up of Green-Backed Firecrown.
  • Latin name: Sephanoides sephaniodes
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout the Juan Fernandez Islands, the mainland of Chile, and Argentina
  • Size: About 3.9″-4.1″ long
  • Diet: Nectar from various types of plants
  • Colorful feature: This unique species has a bronzish-green body that isn’t especially remarkable. However, males have the “firecrown” the species is named for. The crown is red at the top and fades to orange, then yellow, and then green.

This striking hummingbird is part of another tribe of hummingbirds known as the “coquettes.” And despite its delicate look, it’s one of the more aggressive species out there. This bird won’t just chase off other nectar-feeding birds; it will chase off large birds of prey that happen to invade its territory, too. Its remarkable memory lets it remember which flowers in a given cluster are the best sources of nectar.

4. Purple-Throated Mountaingem

Two Purple-Throated Mountaingems sitting together.
  • Latin name: Lampornis calolaemus
  • Habitat: Can be found throughout parts of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama; different subspecies have different ranges
  • Size: About 3.9″-4.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, though they also feed on insects
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species are especially bright. Most of their bodies are various shades of metallic green. Their throats are light, iridescent purple, making this species stand out from other hummingbird species.

This bird is somewhat unique in that males and females have different hunting methods. Males hunt like many other types of hummingbirds: they perch and wait to attack flying insects. Females will often hover and hit plants with their wings. This chases insects from the plants, allowing the birds to catch them.

5. Stripe-Tailed Hummingbird

A stripe-tailed hummingbird perched on small branch.
  • Latin name: Eupherusa eximia
  • Habitat: Can be found in subtropical forests from Mexico to Panama
  • Size: Up to about 3.9″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, insects, and spiders
  • Colorful feature: This distinctive bird is named for the bronze stripe down the tail. Both males and females have metallic green to blue-green bodies, though females have gray-brown underparts. The stripe-tailed hummingbird also looks distinctive in flight, as the undersides of its wings are a beautiful shade of cinnamon.

These medium birds are another species that may not look like hummingbirds to the untrained eye. They are medium-sized and only have very slightly curved beaks. Their unusually long black flight feathers also make them stand out from other hummingbird species.

6. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

A Male ruby-throated Hummingbird hovering near feeder.
  • Latin name: Archilochus colubris
  • Habitat: Can be found across much of North America east of the Mississippi River
  • Size: About 2.8″-3.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, though they also eat small arthropods
  • Colorful feature: Both males and females have bodies that are mostly dark, metallic green. Males have a brilliant, ruby-red throat patch that glistens in the light. However, it only appears red from certain angles; from other angles, it appears black.

This colorful bird is what most people think of when they picture a hummingbird. And though these delicate birds might not seem imposing, they can be surprisingly aggressive toward their own species! These birds are solitary, and if a hummingbird enters another’s territory, it will be attacked and chased off.

7. Versicolored Emerald

Versicolored Emerald on branch.
  • Latin name: Amazilia versicolor
  • Habitat: Can be found in parts of Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana, and Colombia
  • Size: About 3″-4″ long
  • Diet: Primarily nectar
  • Colorful feature: This unique, beautiful hummingbird is softer in color than many on the list. Depending on the individual, most of the body is a shimmering combination of green, turquoise, yellow, and blue. The base color is white or gray, and the patterning on the bird looks a bit like the scales of a fish!

Like many hummingbird species with a wide distribution, the versicolored emerald has a few different subspecies. Researchers don’t know exactly how the distribution ranges of these different species overlap, but many of the subspecies look very similar.

8. Mexican Violetear

Close-up of Mexican Violetear on branch.
  • Latin name: Colibri thalassinus
  • Habitat: Forested parts of Central and South America ranging from Mexico to Nicaragua
  • Size: About 3.8″-4.7″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and insects
  • Colorful feature: This striking bird has a body that is mostly dark, metallic green. It’s named for the violet patch across each ear. But on some birds, that patch looks more like an intense indigo blue.

Like many other hummingbirds, the Mexican violetear has small, weak legs. Since it is usually unable to escape predators on the ground, it rarely lands there. Instead, it is able to spend virtually all its waking hours flying. When feeding, it will generally hover next to nectar-bearing flowers, especially those of trees and shrubs in the Inga genus.

9. Green-Crowned Brilliant

A Green-crowned Brilliant hummingbird in tree.
  • Latin name: Heliodoxa jacula
  • Habitat: Can be found in many different habitat types in Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador
  • Size: Males are about 4.7″-5.1″ and females are slightly smaller
  • Diet: Nectar, especially from Marcgravia vines
  • Colorful feature: Just as you’d expect from the name, the green-crowned brilliant is quite the colorful bird! Both males and females are various shades of metallic green. Males are a bit more colorful and have a patch of very bright blue under the chin.

This beautiful hummingbird is also sometimes called the green-fronted brilliant. And like many hummingbirds with a metallic sheen, its exact color will look different depending on the exact lighting. These birds will sometimes appear to be deep emerald green. In brighter light, they will be closer to metallic spring green.

10. Magnificent Hummingbird

Close-up of Magnificent Hummingbird.
  • Latin name: Eugenes fulgens
  • Habitat: Mostly mountainous, forested areas from the southwestern United States to Nicaragua and Honduras
  • Size: About 4.3″-5.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and insects
  • Colorful feature: This colorful bird lives up to its name! Both males and females are usually dark, metallic green. Males have spectacular heads and necks; their chins and lower necks are bright sky blue, while their crowns are deep purple.

This dazzling bird is sometimes called Rivoli’s hummingbird. And like many species on the list, it has a range that overlaps with that of many other species. These species form a kind of hierarchy. For instance, the magnificent hummingbird tends to be dominant over smaller species like the amethyst-throated hummingbird. But it tends to be subordinate to the blue-throated hummingbird, a larger species.

11. Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird fluttering wings.
  • Latin name: Calypte anna
  • Habitat: Can be found along the western coast of North America
  • Size: About 3.9″-4.3″ long
  • Diet: Nectar and flying insects
  • Colorful feature: Males and females have bodies that are largely bronzish green. The real colorful feature is the male’s throat and crown. On some individuals, it’s magenta. On others, it’s closer to being reddish pink or even crimson. The glistening, iridescent throat tends to look brighter in direct sunlight.

This is one of the few hummingbird species named after a person. Anna’s hummingbird is named after Anna Masséna, the Duchess of Rivoli in the 1800s. And if you take one look at the male’s magnificent crown and throat, you’ll see why this is a species named after royalty. There’s some variation in coloration, and interestingly enough, males with more protein in the diet tend to have brighter crowns and throats than those with low protein intake.

12. Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird

Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird flying in rain forest.
  • Latin name: Amazilia tzacatl
  • Habitat: Mostly open areas in parts of Central America and northern South America
  • Size: About 3.5″-4.3″ long
  • Diet: Nectar and small insects
  • Colorful feature: These pretty birds have largely green bodies with reddish-brown tails. In some individuals, the green seems to fade into yellow above the tail, creating a pretty gradient effect.

Many species of hummingbirds are almost completely solitary. The rufous-tailed hummingbird is somewhat solitary, but it can sometimes be found nesting in colonies. Like many hummingbird species, it is incredibly aggressive when it comes to guarding established feeding sites. This species will often chase off other hummingbird species (and even large insects!) from hummingbird feeders or nectar-rich plants.

13. Snowcap

Snowcap flying next to violet flower.
  • Latin name: Microchera albocoronata
  • Habitat: Can be found in wooded parts of Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, and Nicaragua
  • Size: About 2.6″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and insects
  • Colorful feature: As we’ve seen thus far, hummingbirds are easily some of the most beautifully colored birds in the world. But the male snowcap looks much different. For one, he has a body that is almost entirely purple (a somewhat rare color for birds). He also has a bright, snowy-white crown that the species is named for.

The snowcap is a striking little bird, and males and females show a lot more sexual dimorphism than most species. Females have a lot more white than most species, as their throats and bellies are white. Their upperparts are usually a mixture of green and gray. If you aren’t familiar with the species, it’s easy to think males and females are entirely different types of hummingbirds.

14. Tufted Coquette

A Tufted Coquette feeding on a purple flower.
  • Latin name: Lophornis ornatus
  • Habitat: Mostly open areas in Trinidad, Venezuela, Guiana, and northern Brazil
  • Size: About 2.6″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, but they also eat some small invertebrates
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species are some of the most uniquely colorful birds on the list! They have a greenish base color and a bright reddish crest. The sides of the neck are also reddish and covered in black spots, and the tail is a pretty reddish gold.

This beautiful little bird’s intricate color pattern helps it stand out from the rest. Females aren’t quite as bright as males, and they don’t have the orangish tuft or neck plumes. And if you see a tufted coquette in nature, don’t be afraid to approach it; these birds are remarkably tame and unafraid of people!

15. Crowned Woodnymph

Close-up of Crowned Woodnymph.
  • Latin name: Thalurania colombica
  • Habitat: Mostly forested areas from Belize and Guatemala to Peru
  • Size: About 4″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, though it also eats some insects and arachnids
  • Colorful feature: As you can see in the picture, the colors of the crowned woodnymph are so bright they almost don’t look real! Males have bodies of deep blue or purple, and the crown is violet. Their throats are bright green. Females are a little less bright; their throats and upper breasts are pale purplish gray while their backs are soft blue or green.

Like many other species of hummingbird, the crowned woodnymph creates feeding territories that it defends aggressively. When experts studied feeding territories, they found that the female hummingbirds had higher-quality territories. They determined that was because female crowned woodnymphs are much more aggressive than males when it comes to defending feeding territories.

16. Rainbow-Bearded Thornbill

Rainbow-Bearded Thornbill perched on branch.
  • Latin name: Chalcostigma herrani
  • Habitat: Can be found in the Andes in Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador
  • Size: About 3.9″-4.7″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar
  • Colorful feature: Most of these birds’ bodies are dull bottle green. However, as the name suggests, males have an incredible rainbow of a beard. When you look at one head-on, you’ll see a streak that goes from cool shades of blue and turquoise to fiery shades of yellow and red.

Just like many other hummingbird species, the rainbow-bearded thornbill has some variation when it comes to coloration. In particular, some males have a more colorful streak from forehead to throat than others do. The male bird in the picture is especially colorful, as he even has a touch of very bright magenta under his chin!

17. Bearded Mountaineer

Close-up of Bearded Mountaineer perched on small branch.
  • Latin name: Oreonympha nobilis
  • Habitat: Can be found in valleys in the Andes in parts of Peru
  • Size: About 5.5″-6.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, though it also eats small arthropods
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species have a beautiful crown and throat. The crown is mostly deep blue and the chin is deep green with a thin trail of purple beneath. This streak of color is outlined in black against an almost-white belly.

The name “bearded mountaineer” might make you think of a rugged, rustic-looking bird. But this species, with its shock of color across the face, looks a bit more exotic than you might expect. Females are duller than males, though their patterning is similar.

18. Green-Tailed Trainbearer

Green-tailed Trainbearer perched on vegetation.
  • Latin name: Lesbia nuna
  • Habitat: Mostly wooded areas in Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and possibly Venezuela
  • Size: Males are about 6″-6.7″ long; females are about 4.6″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and insects
  • Colorful feature: This little bird is named for its green tail, but its whole body is largely green, too. As you can see in the picture, most of the bird’s body is bright, iridescent green. Its dark black flight feathers look especially striking against its green body.

This pretty bird has a somewhat large range. But even though its range isn’t massive, it is still split into six different subspecies. Defining the subspecies can be tricky. Adding to the confusion is the fact that the green-tailed trainbearer may also hybridize with the black-tailed trainbearer, a somewhat closely related species.

19. Blue-Throated Hillstar

Adult Blue-throated Hillstar perched in tree.
  • Latin name: Oreotrochilus cyanolaemus
  • Habitat: Can be found in part of the southwestern Andes mountains in Ecuador
  • Size: About 5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and some types of insects
  • Colorful feature: The males of this species are truly magnificent! Their heads and necks are rich, iridescent emerald. Their throats are brilliant ultramarine blue. There’s a black band sitting under the head that sets it apart from the mostly-white underparts.

This beautiful little bird is incredibly rare, and the species was only recently discovered. Unfortunately, it is classified as being critically endangered. Experts estimate that there are only about 80-110 individuals in the wild. The birds only have a very small range, but the destruction of their habitat has kept their already small population in decline.

20. Green-Throated Mango

Side profile of Green-Throated Mango.
  • Latin name: Anthracothorax viridigula
  • Habitat: Can be found in swampy parts of Brazil, Venezuela, Trinidad, and the Guianas
  • Size: About 4.1″-4.9″ long
  • Diet: Primarily nectar and insects
  • Colorful feature: Despite the name, this bright bird bears little resemblance to the fruit! Males have a deep green throat and belly. Both males and females have bronzish backs, though females have backs that are a bit more reddish.

If you’re already knowledgeable about types of hummingbirds, you may be able to tell that the green-throated mango looks a lot like the black-throated mango. Telling the difference between the two in the field can be a real challenge, especially because in certain lights, both species can look entirely black.

21. Wire-Crested Thorntail

Wire-Crested Thorntail sitting in tropical forest.
  • Latin name: Discosura popelairii
  • Habitat: Can be found in the foothills of the Andes in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia
  • Size: Males are about 4.5″ long; females are about 3″-3.2″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, though it also eats some small arthropods
  • Colorful feature: As you can see in the picture, males of this species are a mixture of green, blue, white, purple, and copper. Their deep blue, forked (or thorny) tails are especially striking!

This unusual bird is one of the strangest-looking on the list! That’s largely thanks to its hair-like or wire-like crest that seems to rise up seamlessly from the crown. However, it’s important to note that only males of the species have the crest.

22. Collared Inca

Collared Inca perched on vine.
  • Latin name: Coeligena torquata
  • Habitat: Can be found in Andean forests in parts of Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru
  • Size: About 3.9″-5.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, though it also eats small arthropods
  • Colorful feature: In many types of light, this bird appears jet black. But if you look closely, you can see iridescent highlights of green and purple. But the collared inca’s most striking feature is easily its bright white, collar-like chest patch.

Since this pretty little bird’s range is somewhat long, it is divided into eight different subspecies, each of which looks a bit different. The most different subspecies is one known as “Gould’s inca.” This one has a chest patch that is completely reddish rather than white.

23. Buff-Winged Starfrontlet

Buff-Winged Starfrontlet against green background.
  • Latin name: Coeligena lutetiae
  • Habitat: Forests in the Andes in Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador
  • Size: About 5.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and small arthropods
  • Colorful feature: Both males and females of this species have bodies that are primarily metallic green. They also have a buff patch on each wing. Males have a deep purple patch under the chin and are generally more intense in color than females.

Many different species of hummingbirds can be found in gardens and other human-made habitats. However, if you want to see the buff-winged starfrontlet, you’ll probably have to visit its natural habitat. This bird isn’t currently believed to be in danger of extinction, but its habitat is at risk of destruction. It doesn’t seem to be drawn to gardens or habitats outside of its natural habitat.

24. Purple-Bibbed Whitetip

Side view of Male Purple-bibbed Whitetip.
  • Latin name: Urosticte benjamini
  • Habitat: Can be found on the Pacific slope of the Andes mountains from Colombia to Ecuador
  • Size: About 3.1″-3.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and insects
  • Colorful feature: Both males and females are mostly glittering green. Males have iridescent purple “bibs,” and both sexes have a striking white spot behind each eye.

The purple-bibbed whitetip is one of the many species of hummingbirds found in and around the Andes mountains. And like many species, this one can look a bit different depending on the light. Some individual birds look shamrock green while others are closer to being rich emerald in color.

25. Brazilian Ruby

Front view of a Brazilian Ruby perched on a branch against blurry background.
  • Latin name: Clytolaema rubricauda
  • Habitat: Can be found close to the coast in southern Brazil
  • Size: About 4.3″-4.4″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and insects
  • Colorful feature: Males and females of this species look a bit different. Males are deep iridescent green with a brilliant ruby red to pink patch under the beak. Their backs are closer to being bronze, and their bellies are gray and speckled with green. Females are a duller green with buff-colored underparts.

Unsurprisingly, the Brazilian ruby is one of the hummingbird species in the “brilliants” tribe. And while it’s usually colorful, it isn’t always. The species is somewhat unique in that melanistic individuals are common. These birds have a genetic mutation that makes them all black.

26. Empress Brilliant

Empress brilliant sitting on branch.
  • Latin name: Heliodoxa imperatrix
  • Habitat: Can be found along the Pacific slope of the Andes from Colombia to Ecuador
  • Size: About 5.9″-6.7″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, though it also hunts small insects
  • Colorful feature: The empress brilliant is a stunning hummingbird that almost doesn’t look real! As you can see in the photo, the lower body looks almost as though it’s made from golden metal! The rest of the body is deep green metallic, and there is a lilac-purple patch below the beak.

This pretty hummingbird is one of the most striking on the list. In particular, it’s one of the most metallic-looking hummingbird species. And as a resident species in the Andes, it also has a range that overlaps with that of a number of other hummingbird species.

27. Great Sapphirewing

Great Sapphirewing feeding on pink flower.
  • Latin name: Pterophanes cyanopterus
  • Habitat: Can be found in the Andes in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia
  • Size: About 6.1″-7.5″ long
  • Diet: Various types of nectar and sometimes insects
  • Colorful feature: Like many hummingbird species, this one has a body that is mostly metallic green. And true to the name, its wings are brilliant sapphire blue. The exact coloration will vary depending on the particular subspecies.

As you can tell from its name, the great sapphirewing is one of the larger species of hummingbird. There are only three species larger than this one! This species has a somewhat limited range, though it can be found in a range of habitat types from evergreen forests to shrubby areas to elfin forests (miniature forest ecosystems with small trees or shrubs and smaller animals).

28. Rainbow Starfrontlet

Rainbow Starfrontlet perched on a twig in tropical forest.
  • Latin name: Coeligena iris
  • Habitat: Mostly forest edges and gardens in Ecuador and Peru
  • Size: About 4.9″-5.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and small arthropods
  • Colorful feature: The rainbow starfrontlet is a stunning hummingbird. And as you can see in the photo, it lives up to its name: the crown includes a brilliant array of colors and the metallic green head stands out against the warm brown body.

As is the case with many hummingbird species, male rainbow starfrontlets are more colorful than females. Females will sometimes have similar patterning to males but just be more muted in color. Though all of these birds are beautiful, the exact coloration changes depending on the subspecies.

29. Glowing Puffleg

Glowing Puffleg perched on twig against blurred rainforest in background.
  • Latin name: Eriocnemis vestita
  • Habitat: Relatively open landscapes in parts of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela
  • Size: About 3.5″-3.9″ long
  • Diet: Nectar, spiders, and insects
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful bird is primarily dark, iridescent green. The belly and back are usually closer to being golden green. Males have striking, deep blue patches beneath the beak. And of course, the bright white leg puffs form a striking contrast with the dark green body.

This unique hummingbird gets its name from the white “puffs” of feathering seen over each leg. There are four separate subspecies, each of which looks a bit different from the other. However, all of them have the white leg puffs.

30. Admirable Hummingbird

Admirable Hummingbird feeding from flowers.
  • Latin name: Eugenes spectabilis
  • Habitat: Can be found in much of Panama and Costa Rica
  • Size: About 5.1″ long
  • Diet: Nectar and some types of smaller arthropods
  • Colorful feature: This beautiful, larger hummingbird has a body that is mostly metallic green. Males have metallic blue to blue-green throats, and their crowns are usually violet.

This pretty bird is sometimes called the Talamanca hummingbird. It’s part of a tribe of hummingbirds known as the “mountain gems.” The name is appropriate, as this species can primarily be found in the mountainous regions of Panama and Costa Rica.

31. Costa’s Hummingbird

A beautiful male Costa’s hummingbird stands on the tip of a single branch.
  • Latin name: Calypte costae
  • Habitat: Can be found in arid parts of Baja California and surrounding areas of the southwestern United States
  • Size: About 3″-3.5″ long
  • Diet: Primarily nectar, though it also eats small insects
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species have somewhat dull, nondescript bodies. However, their faces are brilliant metallic purple. The purple patch also extends outward on either side toward each shoulder.

This pretty hummingbird is able to survive cold desert nights by entering a state of torpor. When this happens, it slows its metabolism so rapidly that it is virtually hibernating. Both its heart rate and rate of respiration slow very dramatically.

32. Crimson Topaz

Crimson Topaz perched on branch against blurred background.
  • Latin name: Topaza pella
  • Habitat: Largely rainforests in Guyana, French Guiana, Brazil, Venezuela, and Suriname
  • Size: Males about 8.3″-9.1″ long; females about 5.1″-5.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, though it also will eat insects
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species are a bit more colorful than females. As you can see in the picture, the chestnut-colored body has hints of crimson iridescence, while the throat is bright electric green. It looks especially striking against the male’s black face and neck. Females aren’t quite as bright, but their throats are especially beautiful: they are green with hints of crimson.

This very large hummingbird is believed to be the second-largest hummingbird species. The only larger one is the massive giant hummingbird. This species has three separate subspecies. Each looks slightly different, but all are around the same size.

33. Green-Bearded Helmet-Crest

Green-Bearded Helmet-Crest perched among forest vegetation.
  • Latin name: Oxypogon guerinii
  • Habitat: Can be found in much of the eastern Andes in Colombia
  • Size: About 4.4″-5.0″ long
  • Diet: Nectar and some types of insects
  • Colorful feature: If it weren’t for the bright iridescent green stripe beneath the beak, the green-bearded helmet-crest would be a dull-colored bird! Males have this striking patch, called a gorget. The gorget is lined with white, giving it the appearance of a beard.

Though the gorget on these birds is green, the one in the picture appears to have a purple gorget. That’s because the feathers are so highly iridescent that they can appear green, blue, or purple depending on the lighting. Aside from the bright stripe of color, these hummingbirds are an unremarkable chestnut brown to gray brown.

34. Bee Hummingbird

Bee Hummingbird flying.
  • Latin name: Mellisuga helenae
  • Habitat: Can be found in various habitats across the Cuban archipelago
  • Size: Females are about 2.4″ long; males are about 2.2″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, though they sometimes eat smaller arthropods
  • Colorful feature: Male bee hummingbirds have bodies that are largely iridescent sky blue. During mating season, the head can be reddish or pinkish. You can see a patch of pink in the photo! Females tend to be a bit less bright and are mostly bluish-green with a gray underside.

The bee hummingbird’s highly unique look comes largely from its build. Many hummingbirds have long, slender bodies. But the bee hummingbird’s short, relatively round body looks a bit like that of a bumblebee. Despite its small size, it’s able to eat well: in any given day, a bee hummingbird can eat close to half its weight in nectar (supplemented with insects and spiders).

35. Glittering-Bellied Emerald

Glittering-Bellied Emerald sucking nectar.
  • Latin name: Chlorostilbon lucidus
  • Habitat: Can be found in semi-open areas throughout eastern and southwestern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina
  • Size: Males about 3.7″-4.1″ long; females about 3″-3.3″ long
  • Diet: Various types of nectar, small insects, and insect honeydew (a secretion of ants and some other insects)
  • Colorful feature: As you can see in the picture, it isn’t just the bell of this bird that glitters! Males of the species have bronzish bellies that are more iridescent than the rest of the mostly-green body. They also have bright orange beaks that pop against their dark green feathers!

This colorful creature has many different subspecies, some of which are close to becoming species of their own. For instance, one, Chlorostilbon lucidus igneous, has a belly dotted with iridescent golden-orange speckles. 

36. Sapphire-Vented Puffleg

Sapphire-Vented Puffleg perched on branch.
  • Latin name: Eriocnemis luciani
  • Habitat: Can be found in humid forests in parts of Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia
  • Size: About 4.5″-5.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and small insects
  • Colorful feature: This colorful bird is somewhat unique in the females, and males have the same coloring. Their bodies are rich, sparkling green, and their vents are sapphire blue. Like other puffleg species, they have little white puffs of feathers at the top of each leg.

Like many South American hummingbirds, the sapphire-vented puffleg has not been extensively studied. Experts are uncertain of the exact population size, but they generally believe that the population is stable and not at risk of extinction. Currently, experts also don’t know a lot about the bird’s mating or nesting habits.

37. Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird

Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird with tail flared in a defensive posture.
  • Latin name: Chrysolampis mosquitus
  • Habitat: Can be found in savannas, shrubby areas, and gardens in much of northeastern South America
  • Size: About 3.1″-3.7″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, small insects, and spiders
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species are incredibly colorful! They have iridescent ruby-red crests and golden throats and breasts. The rest of the body is deep brown to chestnut. When the male fans out his tail, you can see his golden-yellow to reddish-brown tail feathers. Females are a mix of bronzish green and gray, and they almost look like they’re a different species.

Somewhat confusingly, this bright bird is not part of the small group of “topaz” hummingbirds. Instead, it is part of the “mango” group. Scientists aren’t sure of its population status. But since the ruby-topaz hummingbird seems to be accepting of gardens and cultivated areas, it’s at less risk of extinction due to habitat destruction than many other species.

38. Cinnamon Hummingbird

Cinnamon Hummingbird with tongue sticking out.
  • Latin name: Amazilia rutila
  • Habitat: Mostly forested areas of western South America and the Yucatan Peninsula
  • Size: About 3.7″-4.5″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and insects
  • Colorful feature: Though not quite as bright as some species, the cinnamon hummingbird has a rich, cinnamon-colored breast that makes it worthy of mention. Males and females have similar coloring, as their backs are metallic greenish-bronze and much of the lower body is cinnamon. Males also have especially striking beaks; they are intense reddish-pink with a small patch of black at the tip.

If you take a look at the bird in the picture, you can get a close look at the unique, tubular tongue that most hummingbirds have. The tongue makes them able to eat nectar efficiently.

39. Green Hermit

Green Hermit hummingbird feeding from giant red flower.
  • Latin name: Phaethornis guy
  • Habitat: Found in forested parts of Trinidad and Venezuela
  • Size: About 5.3″ long
  • Diet: Typically nectar, though it also eats smaller insects
  • Colorful feature: This pretty hummingbird has a body that is mostly glossy green, though the rump is blue-green. As a result, the green hermit appears to be blue in many photos.

The green hermit is a somewhat unusual-looking bird. Its beak is a lot longer than that of other hummingbirds, and it’s curved almost like a bow. And despite its name, the green hermit has a highly community-oriented courtship display. Males gather in what’s called a “lek” in order to attempt to attract females. To do so, males usually shake tail feathers to attract mates.

40. White-Necked Jacobin

White-Necked Jacobin flying near flower.
  • Latin name: Florisuga mellivora
  • Habitat: Can be found in forests and semi-open landscapes in eastern Central America and northern South America
  • Size: About 4.3″-4.7″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and smaller insects
  • Colorful feature: Males and females of this species look remarkably different, though both are quite colorful. Males have upper bodies of deep, glossy midnight blue. Their bellies are white, and there’s a white band on the nape of the neck. Females have pretty blue-green underparts with a distinctive pattern that looks like the scales of a fish.

This remarkable hummingbird has a much different color pattern than many on the list. The male’s high-contrast patches are especially unique, as is the female’s intricate scale pattern. The two birds are different enough that it would be easy to assume they’re from different species! You might sometimes hear this bird referred to as the “great jacobin” or the “collared hummingbird” (not to be confused with the collared inca).

41. Black-Throated Mango

Black-throated Mango hummingbird hovering isolated on green background.
  • Latin name: Anthracothorax nigricollis
  • Habitat: Can be found in open country in many parts of South America
  • Size: About 4″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and insects; it eats more insects than many hummingbird species
  • Colorful feature: Both males and females of this species have interesting and high-contrast patterning. Both have glossy green upperparts. The male has a streak of black down his throat and chest, though the stripe has a bluish-green border. In some lights, the black stripe looks closer to navy blue. Females also have greenish upperparts, but their throats and underparts are white with a black stripe down the middle.

The black-throated mango is a hummingbird that is very picky about plants it chooses for food. That might be part of why it hunts for insects much more than most species. It will even hunt for insects far from nectar-bearing plants; black-throated mangos will even hover in the open air and wait for insects to attack.

42. Copper-Rumped Hummingbird

Glittering Copper-rumped hummingbird, flying in the middle of a Sanchezia bush.
  • Latin name: Saucerottia tobaci
  • Habitat: Can be found in open areas in Venezuela, Trinidad, and Tobago
  • Size: About 3.4″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and some small insects
  • Colorful feature: The descriptively named copper-rumped hummingbird is one of the species where females and males look just about identical. These birds are glossy green with a glossy, bronzish-copper rump.

The copper-rumped hummingbird is one of the more aggressive species when it comes to protecting feeding territories. When not actively feeding, these birds will perch in full view of other animals to warn them away. They also will chase away bees, other hummingbirds, and other large species of birds that invade their territory.

43. Red-Tailed Comet

Red-Tailed Comet feeding.
  • Latin name: Sappho sparganurus
  • Habitat: Can be found in a small part of the central Andes Mountains of Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina
  • Size: Males up to 8.7″ long; females up to 5.9″ long
  • Diet: Primarily nectar and insects
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species have truly spectacular coloring. Their bodies are metallic green with a glimmering blue-green gorget. But the tail is the most spectacular; it is reddish-golden, very long, and forked.

This beautiful bird certainly lives up to its name! The tails of males are comet-like and are often longer than the rest of the body. Females are somewhat bright with green bodies and reddish tails, though their tails are not forked or as long as the male’s tail.

44. Fiery-Throated Hummingbird

Fiery-Throated Hummingbird eating from flower.
  • Latin name: Panterpe insignis
  • Habitat: Can be found in wooded parts of Panama and Costa Rica
  • Size: About 4.1″-4.3″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and sometimes smaller arthropods
  • Colorful feature: As you might have guessed from the name, the fiery-throated hummingbird is one of the most colorful hummingbirds on the list. The males have bright royal blue heads with a flame-colored gorget. The gorget is reddish in the middle, fading to orange and then yellow on the outside. Much of the body is green, so this bird has every color of the rainbow.

The fiery-throated hummingbird has one of the most robust known populations in Central America. It has a small range compared to many species, but experts estimate that its population is between 50,000 and 500,000 individuals. Currently, it is not believed to be at risk of extinction.

45. Long-Billed Starthroat

A Long-billed Starthroat hummingbird perches alone on a branch with a smooth green background.
  • Latin name: Heliomaster longirostris
  • Habitat: Can be found in semi-open landscapes in parts of Central America and northern South America
  • Size: About 4.3″-4.7″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar, but it also will eat insects
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species are very bright; the crown is metallic blue or greenish blue, while the gorget is brilliant purple. Much of the rest of the body is greenish bronze. Females look somewhat similar, but the crown is less blue and the gorget is grayish instead of purple.

Despite the name, the long-billed starthroat does not actually have one of the longer bills on the list. Experts believe that it moves around to follow the blooming season of the plants it prefers. Like many species, it aggressively guards its feeding territories and will also visit “circuits” of blooming flowers it has committed to memory.

46. Blue-Chinned Sapphire

Blue-Chinned Sapphire feeding on purple flower.
  • Latin name: Chlorestes notata
  • Habitat: Can be found in forests and some cultivated areas in northern South America
  • Size: About 3.5″ long
  • Diet: Primarily insects and nectar
  • Colorful feature: Males of this species have especially bright, metallic blue to green upperparts. Their tails are forked and deep sapphire blue. Females are somewhat similar, but their underparts are white and spotted with green. The chins are brighter blue than the rest of the body.

Though it’s hard to see in many pictures, the blue-chinned sapphire has white thighs. These are somewhat similar to those of puffleg species, although they are not puffy. This pretty bird has a somewhat spread-out range that includes both river basins and coastal areas.

47. Ecuadoran Hillstar

Ecuadorian Hillstar hummingbird feeding on the national flower of Ecuador.
  • Latin name: Oreotrochilus chimborazo
  • Habitat: Mostly shrubby parts of the Andes in Ecuador and Colombia
  • Size: About 4.7″ long
  • Diet: Nectar (especially from Chuquiraga shrubs) and insects
  • Colorful feature: The males of this species have one especially colorful feature: each appears to be wearing a “hood” of deep violet purple. In some lights, the hood looks like a rich, deep blue.

Like some species on the list, the Ecuadoran hillstar has a few different subspecies. Scientists believe that, in the past, the Andes mountains included geographical barriers that separated the subspecies. At present, those barriers are no longer there, so subspecies can intermingle.

48. White-Booted Racket-Tail

White-Booted Racket-Tail perched on twig.
  • Latin name: Ocreatus underwoodii
  • Habitat: Can be found in the Andes Mountains in parts of Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia
  • Size: Males are about 4.3″-5.9″ long; females are about 3″-3.5″ long
  • Diet: Primarily nectar and insects
  • Colorful feature: This pretty and unique hummingbird has a largely-green body and a glittering green throat patch. It also has fluffy “boots” of white feathers on each leg. But its most interesting feature is probably its “racket” tail, only found on males. The tail is slender until it reaches the tip. At the tip of the tail are two oval-shaped feather “flags.”

The white-booted racket-tail can be divided into five separate subspecies. Each subspecies has slightly different colored or shaped tail “flags” in males and slightly different spotting in females. Nonetheless, the members of the different subspecies do look quite similar.

49. Violet Sabrewing

A Violet Saberwing perched on branch.
  • Latin name: Campylopterus hemileucurus
  • Habitat: Can be found at forest edges in southern Mexico and Central America
  • Size: About 5.9″ long
  • Diet: Almost entirely nectar
  • Colorful feature: As the name suggests, this bird is largely glittering violet. Females are mostly green and dark gray with purple throats.

As you can see above, the violet sabrewing is fairly large for a hummingbird. In fact, it’s the largest hummingbird outside of South America. The name “sabrewing” comes from the distinctive shape of the flight feathers. They are flattened and thickened, giving them the appearance of a particularly sharp sword.

50. White-Throated Mountaingem

Male White-throated Mountaingem.
  • Latin name: Lampornis castaneoventris
  • Habitat: Can be found in and around oak forests in parts of western Panama
  • Size: About 4.7″ long
  • Diet: Mostly nectar and small arthropods
  • Colorful feature: These little birds have an interesting and complex color pattern. Their bodies often have a dark gray base color and are covered in accents of glimmering emerald. In some lights, there are hints of yellow or even orange. Females have a similar glittering green back, through their throats and bellies are a buff orange color.

The various hummingbirds from the “mountain gem” tribe often have distinctively-colored throats. The males of this species have a bright, snowy-white throat that really stands out against his otherwise-dark base color. While females don’t have the patch, they are colorful in their own way thanks to their reddish undersides.

51. Rufous-Crested Coquette

Rufous-Crested Coquette on branch.
  • Latin name: Lophornis delattrei
  • Habitat: Can be found in some tropical areas near South America’s Pacific coast
  • Size: About 2.5″-2.8″ long
  • Diet: Mostly various types of nectar and small insects
  • Colorful feature: This bird looks a bit like the tufted coquette. Males are generally various dark shades of gray and green with a bright, reddish, spiky crest. Females are primarily green. Instead of a crest, they have a reddish patch on the forehead.

These unusual-looking hummingbirds are often mistaken for insects (especially sphinx moths) when in flight. That’s because they move their tails vertically as they fly. And since they are about the size of sphinx moths, it’s easy to see why rufous-crested coquettes are sometimes mistaken for them.

Nature’s Brightly Colored Hummingbirds

Hopefully you now have a new appreciation for the wealth of hummingbird species out there. These little birds can be found anywhere from the tropics to your average backyard. Keep an eye out for them the next time you venture outside!