Many people claim that New Mexico is one of the best spots for hummingbird tourism. Let's see why hummer watching is so prevalent in this state and how to draw hummingbirds' attention safely. Shall we?
Types of hummingbirds in New Mexico
New Mexico can boast more hummingbird types than most states. To be exact, specialists have documented 17 species of hummers around New Mexico, but only 7 of them are commonly seen. The most common kinds are costa's, black-chinned, broad-tailed, rufous, calliope, broad-billed, and violet-crowned hummingbirds. While the first four from this list can often be spotted, the three latter ones are relatively rare. But you can still notice them during spring and summertime.
Hummingbird season in New Mexico
Hummingbirds really like to travel. They fly long miles every year, traveling from Central Mexico to Alaska and back. While the first hummers reach New Mexico in spring (approximately April-May), the real hummer season doesn't begin until July. So you should plan your trip sometime between mid-summer to early fall (that's when most hummers depart from the state).
Where to see the hummingbirds
Now let's discuss where you can find them in New Mexico (spoiler alert: it won't be hard). Because hummingbirds are among the most popular birds in the state, they can be spotted everywhere statewide. But if you want to visit the most hummer-populated area, opt for the southern part of NM.
If you're looking for black-chinned hummingbirds, try areas with ditches and riverbanks—like the Middle Rio Grande Basin in the Bosque area. There, you'll witness many of them. And if you happen to be in the mountains during hummingbird season, pay attention to the shrill sounds made by these birds.
As for Albuquerque, New Mexico's biggest city, it is the fourth city in the United States in terms of bird diversity. This way, you'll definitely spot many kinds of hummingbirds there. Other spots include: Emory Pass, Taos, Gila Hot Springs.
How to attract hummingbirds
To wave their wings so quickly, hummingbirds burn a lot of calories, which means they're always hungry. This is why food is the best way to attract the birds. For example, in their natural habitat, they are drawn by bright red flowers. But you can also attract them artificially—with homemade nectar, which is healthy for them. You can either buy the ready-made syrup in a special store or make your own (check out the website below for a simple detailed recipe). And, of course, you can always decorate your feeder with a beautiful flower or two!