Best time to travel to New Mexico

Hummingbirds in New Mexico

Visit one of the best states for hummingbird watching

Best time: July–September

Close-up of a flying hummingbird

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!

Practical info

What are some of the hummingbird species seen in New Mexico?

New Mexico is home to 17 hummingbird species, with Costa's, black-chinned, broad-tailed, and rufous hummingbirds being the most commonly observed ones. Spring and summer are the seasons to see calliope, broad-billed, and violet-crowned hummingbirds that are relatively harder to spot, depending on the area of the state. Show more

When is the most appropriate time to visit New Mexico for those interested in seeing hummingbirds?

To make the most out of a trip to watch hummingbirds, it is best to go to New Mexico between July and early fall. Although visitors would miss out on the highest diversity of these birds seen in the spring, visiting when it's warmer guarantees more chances of seeing them before they fly away. Show more

Which places are best for hummingbird watching in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, hummingbirds can be seen practically everywhere. However, specific locations like the southern part of the state, Emory Pass, Gila Hot Springs, Taos, and the Middle Rio Grande Basin in the Bosque area are the best places for spotting hummingbirds. Black-chinned hummingbirds are more common around Gila Hot Springs. Show more

What is the count of hummingbird species in New Mexico, and which ones are uncommon?

New Mexico's hummingbird count is 17, and the easily observed kinds are Costa's, black-chinned, broad-tailed, and rufous. The calliope, broad-billed, and violet-crowned hummingbirds are harder to spot. The best time to see these birds is in spring and summer before they migrate to other areas. Show more

How do you lure hummingbirds with food, and which mixture is best?

To attract hummingbirds, use a homemade nectar mixture of four parts water to one part sugar. Do not use organic, red dye, or honey nectar, as these could potentially harm the birds. Fresh nectar should be provided every two to three days to keep it from spoiling. Placing feeders decorated in bright flowers can catch their attention. Show more

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Last updated: by Nataliia Chaika