Name that Silver Lake hummingbird

Photo by Sandy Driscoll

Photo by Sandy Driscoll

SILVER LAKE — Sandy Driscoll’s backyard has attracted a colorful hummingbird that she has not seen before. She asks if anyone can help identify it:

This absolutely stunning little hummingbird has been flying around in my backyard for an hour. He’s not the usual hummer that I see around here. Most of the hummers I see are more grey in color, with fluorescent green under the beak.

Photo by Sandy Driscoll

Photo by Sandy Driscoll


  1. It looks like a Rufous Hummingbird

  2. Odds are it’s a male Allen’s hummingbird. I’m amazed Sandy hasn’t seen one before. They really seem to have muscled the Anna’s hummingbirds out all over town. When I first moved to Glassell Park, I first had Anna’s in my Forest Lawn adjacent yard. As soon as an Allen’s discovered my feeder, they never relinquished it to an Anna’s again.
    Sandy, is his back green or brown? That’s the difference between Rufous and Allen’s. The Allen’s have a green back.

    • His back was brown, Heather. I get lots of hummingbirds at my feeder and in my yard, but they’ve all had green under their beaks. This one looked very different to me……sort of a medium light brown back with scarlet front. He also seemed faster and more aggressive than the rest. Wanted to keep other hummers away from the feeder but I was lucky to catch the shot of him sitting on a branch in my lime tree.

  3. The problem is that the Allen and the Rufous look very much alike. I think the difference is in the shape of the tail feathers, but it is a male.

  4. Definitely a male, Allen’s hummer. They’ve moved in to SoCal and are very aggressive. You may have to get a second feeder to accommodate both Annas and Allens.

  5. Im over in the Arroyo View Estates and right now I have about 5-6 different species of Hummingbirds dont know if their crossbreeding but Im getting a ton of the all black ones with the magenta under their necks Ruby-throated Hummingbird, the Allens , the Annas, the Black-chinned Hummingbird, I have five feeders surrounded by Bottle Neck trees and azaleas flowers. I’m just giving them Sugar Water been doing this for about 5 years now so we have a colony of Birds, Been getting some Golden Finches drinking the out of the feeder and in about late March My Bullocks Oriels should be returning if any one wants to photo them or want some pics sent please let me know. Also the Parrots frequent here. [email protected]

  6. I am concerned that I have not seen nor heard any hummingbirds this year in my yard. I usually put up like four clear nectar feeders and spread them apart through the yard and generally Ihave many many of them darting all around by now. Someone moved in behind me and has 2 red nectar feeders up but I can tell they are not being used either. I did hear my new neighbor spraying stuff on few different days that stunk real bad even in my yard, but how stupid would he be to put feeders up then spray some harmful bug spray or weed sprays that might kill or send the hummers away. Any ideas? I live in Surprise Arizona any help muchly appreciated. 🙂

  7. It is now May 20, 2015 & I have only seen 3 hummers about 6 weeks ago. I live in the Piedmont of SC, out about 6 miles from town and nothing has changed in my landscape.. Where are my hummingbirds?

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