Anna’s Hummingbird

Calypte anna

Last updated: November 15, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
Image Credit iStock.com/Devonyu

Anna's Hummingbird wings beat 40-50 times per second during normal flight

Anna’s Hummingbird Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Apodiformes
Family
Trochilidae
Genus
Calypte
Scientific Name
Calypte anna

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Anna’s Hummingbird Conservation Status

Anna’s Hummingbird Locations

Anna’s Hummingbird Locations

Anna’s Hummingbird Facts

Prey
Tiny spiders and insects
Main Prey
Nectar
Name Of Young
Chick, Hatchling, or Nestling
Group Behavior
  • Solitary
Fun Fact
Anna's Hummingbird wings beat 40-50 times per second during normal flight
Estimated Population Size
1.5 million
Biggest Threat
Birds (such as Curved-Billed Thrashers and Western Scrub-Jays)
Most Distinctive Feature
Rosy Red Crown
Distinctive Feature
Bright and colorful iridescent feathers adorning the head and gorget
Other Name(s)
Anna's Hummingbird
Temperament
Solidary
Wingspan
4-5 in
Incubation Period
16 days
Age Of Independence
1 month
Age Of Fledgling
18-23 days
Habitat
Open Woodlands, Shrubs, Trees, Gardens, and Coastal areas near water
Predators
Birds and stinging insects
Diet
Omnivore
Favorite Food
Nectar
Type
Bird
Common Name
Anna's Hummingbird
Special Features
Long, slender bill
Origin
Pacific Coast
Number Of Species
330
Location
Pacific Coast
Average Clutch Size
2
Group
Solitary
Nesting Location
Trees, Shrubs

Anna’s Hummingbird Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Brown
  • Grey
  • Red
  • Green
Skin Type
Feathers
Top Speed
60 mph
Lifespan
8 years
Weight
3-6 g
Length
3-4 in
Age of Sexual Maturity
1 year
Aggression
Medium

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View all of the Anna’s Hummingbird images!



Anna’s Hummingbird’s tiny legs neither help them walk nor hop. Instead, they’re utilized for scooting side to side when perched.

Anna’s Hummingbird Summary

Anna’s Hummingbird is one of three species that are permanent residents of Canada and the United States. They are considered the fastest and some of the largest of all Hummingbirds. With a growing population and ever-increasing non-breeding range, Anna’s Hummingbird can be found from Canada to Mexico.

Anna’s Hummingbird Amazing Facts

  • Anna’s Hummingbird was named after Anna Masséna, Duchess of Rivoli.
  • Anna’s Hummingbirds are one of the most typical hummingbirds found along the Pacific Coast.
  • For its size, Anna’s Hummingbird performs the fastest aerial diving compared to any other known bird.
  • The average lifespan for Anna’s Hummingbirds is eight years.
  • The only North American species of hummingbirds with red crowns are Anna’s Hummingbirds.
  • Anna’s Hummingbird eggs are roughly the size of a jellybean.

Where To Find Anna’s Hummingbird

You will mainly find Anna’s Hummingbird along the Pacific Coast, which includes California and Oregon, where they breed; however, they also reside as far south as New Mexico. They change their location with the season and will move to a higher altitude during the summer months, and lower elevations during winter. Suppose you want to catch a glimpse of this speedy bird. In that case, it’s as simple as supplying sugar water in hummingbird feeders or providing flowers, such as Azaleas and Honeysuckle, that will provide the nectar they need. They will often nest in trees or shrubs and can often be seen in gardens, parks, and backyards. 

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Anna’s Hummingbird Nests

The diameter of Anna’s Hummingbird nest is approximately the size of a ping-pong ball. The female will construct the nest around her while sitting on a tree branch high off the ground. Her construction materials usually include spider webs, small feathers, leaves, and vines. Additionally, the female will embellish the outside of the nest with moss or lichens which may have been confiscated from another nest. 

Anna’s Hummingbird Scientific Name

The scientific name of Anna’s hummingbird is Calypte anna. The word “Calypte” most likely is derived from the Ancient Greek Kaluptre meaning “Head-dress” or “Woman’s Veil.”

Anna’s Hummingbird Appearance

Male Anna’s Hummingbirds have vibrant, red rose-colored iridescent gorget. In contrast, their body is mostly grey, their backs bronze and green. Their tail feathers are white-tipped, with a metallic green center and exterior tail feathers transitioning to black. Both juvenile males and females will share the same dull brown body with green and bronze backs. Once adolescent males reach sexual maturity, after a year, their feathers will shed their plumage and begin to display the vibrant colors they’re known for. Additionally, their crown may appear with dark shades of orange, pink, brown, and green.

Anna's Hummingbird nesting
A female Anna’s Hummingbird is collecting nesting material.

Devonyu /Shutterstock.com

Anna’s Hummingbird Behavior

Anna’s Hummingbirds are very territorial and will fiercely protect the area they feed and sleep. The threat of losing their resources emboldens their instincts and they’ll often be seen diving at anything which enters their territory. Between summer and winter, Anna’s Hummingbirds will migrate and today they have the northernmost year-round range of any Hummingbird. Additionally, they can slow their metabolism down significantly at night in comparison to their normal daily range; this ability allows them to live in cooler areas. 

Anna’s Hummingbird Habitat

You can easily find Anna’s Hummingbirds along the Pacific Coast in states like Oregon, California, and also New Mexico. They often reside in open woodlands, parks, and backyards; however, they can be found anywhere they can establish a safe territory with access to water or nectar-feeding plants. During the breeding season, they will change climates and move to higher altitudes, whereas in winter they’ll reside in lower elevations. The female will prefer wooded areas with trees such as oak and evergreens. The males will prefer a more open setting like a hillside or canyon. Despite being introduced in the nineteenth century, you can often find Anna’s Hummingbirds in Eucalyptus trees enjoying nectar from their vibrant flowers.  

Anna’s Hummingbird Diet

The main source of food for hummingbirds is nectar from plants that flower such as gooseberry and eucalyptus, as well as sugar water from feeders and tree sap. They access the nectar by inserting their long and slender bill into the flower and using their tongue to extract the nectar.  Surprisingly, they also feed on many small insects and spiders, such as leafhoppers and midges. Depending on the time of year, certain insects may be more abundant than others. 

Anna’s Hummingbird Predators and Threats

Due to their small size, maneuverability, and speed, they can often avoid predators you’d think of like cats. However, birds such as Western Scrub-Jays and Curve-Billed Thrashers do pose a threat. In response to these predators, Anna’s Hummingbird has adapted and will now bombard the predator while quickly beating her wings rapidly and attacking their head and back. Another way to avoid potential predators is to feed from higher food sources such as flowers in trees or hanging feeders. With proven adaptability and a strong breeding population, there is little threat from humans or the destruction of their habitat.

Anna’s Hummingbird Reproduction and Life Cycle

The male Anna’s Hummingbird performs remarkable aerial diving as part of their courtship and attempts to attract a female. While diving, they can reach speeds over 60 mph, and can abruptly stop and pull up to avoid colliding with the earth. Upon researching this feat it was found they endure the equivalent of more than ten times the force of gravity, more than any other known living thing on earth. The female Anna’s Hummingbird will raise the chicks alone, and will only come together with a male to mate. The mating season begins in November and lasts until May, during which time the female can produce up to two broods. Each brood usually consists of two eggs, which she will produce a day apart. The female will incubate the eggs for two to three weeks before they hatch, and continue to feed and care for them for another three to four weeks. Chicks will have all their down feathers within their first week and will venture from the nest within a month. They will initially remain close to their mother, however, within two weeks they will be fully independent. 

Anna’s Hummingbird Population

The current estimated population for Anna’s Hummingbird is 1.5 million. Their numbers are steadily increasing and will continue to grow as their range also expands. 

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About the Author

Shannon's experience as a pet parent shapes her writing and empowers her to produce informative and engaging content. She has a wonderful poodle-terrier mix named Nelson, and together, they enjoy long walks, outdoor adventures, and playing with his many toys.

Anna’s Hummingbird FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Anna's hummingbird rare?

No, they happen to be one of the most common in the Pacific Northwest.

What's the difference between Anna's Hummingbird and a Ruby Throated Hummingbird?

Ruby Throated Hummingbirds are smaller and have a ruby gorget and black crown. Anna’s Hummingbirds are the only hummingbirds with red crowns.

Where are Anna's hummingbirds found?

Throughout the Pacific Northwest. They reside in trees and shrubs found in open woodlands and can often be spotted in parks and backyards.

How long does Anna's hummingbird live?

Anna’s Hummingbirds lives 8 years on average.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Audobon, Available here: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/annas-hummingbird#:~:text=Calypte%20anna,no%20other%20hummingbirds%20are%20present
  2. All About Birds, Available here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Annas_Hummingbird/overview
  3. Humming Worlds, Available here: https://www.hummingworlds.com/annas-hummingbird/
  4. Animal Diversity Web, Available here: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Calypte_anna/
  5. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna%27s_hummingbird#:~:text=The%20population%20of%20Anna's%20hummingbirds,are%20not%20an%20endangered%20species
  6. Cornell Lab, Available here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Annas_Hummingbird/lifehistory#:~:text=Nest%20Placement,They%20use%20conifers%20less%20frequently
  7. National Geographic, Available here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/annas-hummingbird-outflies-falcons-and-fighter-pilots#:~:text=The%20tiny%207cm%20bird%20reaches,manoeuvre%20performed%20by%20any%20bird
  8. Jstor, Available here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/30156158

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