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Best time to travel to Phoenix, AZ


The capital of Arizona is home to several hummingbird species


Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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Hummingbirds, which beat their wings about 70 times per second, are the smallest birds in the world. From over 300 hummingbird species, nearly a dozen can be seen near Phoenix. Even though some hummingbirds are resident species, which can be found year-round, the best time to spot these tiny birds is during annual migrations from April through October. The month of August is the peak of migration season, hence it offers the most sightings.

Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna) is the most common species in Phoenix, living here year-round. Additionally, many Anna's hummingbirds visit Phoenix during fall, migrating from California. Males Anna's hummingbirds are recognized by their pink throats and black or purple crowns. Females have green backs and light greys. They are frequently spotted in backyards, gardens, and the Sonoran Desert.

The most common hummingbird species in Phoenix's desert are Costa’s hummingbirds (Calypte costae). They arrive in the Sonoran Desert around February and leave in early fall. Males are recognized by purple crowns and impressive purple "mustache." Females are greyish-green. They can often be spotted at Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden.

Black-chinned hummingbirds arrive in Phoenix in the summer from Mexico. They breed in lower and middle elevations. Black-chinned males have black-purple collars with green feathers on the back. The females are pale with green backs. Other species that occur near Phoenix include broad-billed hummingbirds (Cynanthus latirostris), which arrive in April, and Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus), which are seen during migrations from March through April and from July through mid-October when they head to western Mexico.

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