U S Fish and Wildlife Service


Past Featured Pollinators:
  Allen's Hummingbird
  Buff-bellied Hummingbird
  Calliope Hummingbird
  Costa's Hummingbird
  Crested Honeycreepers
  Dakota Skipper
  El Segundo blue butterfly
  Karner blue butterfly
  Lesser long-nosed bat

Mexican long-nosed bat

  Mitchell’s Satyr
  Monarch Butterfly
  Rufous Hummingbird
  Rusty patched bumble bee
  Taylor's checkerspot butterfly
More Pollinators:
  Fringed Orchids and Hawkmoths

Fun Fact:

Adult males have one of the most remarkable dive displays of any North American hummingbird. He flies in a pendulum arc for several times above either a female or rival male, then will zoom to a higher elevation (usually 65 feet!) and perform a high-speed power dive.



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Featured Pollinator

image of an Allen's Hummingbird hovering.
Allen's Hummingbird (photo: Alan Schmierer, CC0 1.0)

Like many North American breeding birds, the Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) migrates between breeding grounds in coastal California and southwest Oregon in the summer and overwintering grounds in Mexico in the fall. In summer, the female hummingbirds are busy raising young. Typically, two young are raised per brood (single nestful of young) and a female can raise two to five broods per season, if the weather stays warm long enough.

image of allens hummingbird incubating.
Incubating eggs (Photos: Mike's Birds/CC BY-SA 2.0)




The eggs hatch between 17 and 22 days old, and leave the nest around 22 to 25 days later. Breeding season can start as early as January in their southern range and lastsuntil early July. When the breeding season is over, adults migrate to Mexico where they spend their time in forest edges and clearings. Allen's Hummingbirds usually live about 3 to 5 years, but possibly as long as 12 years.




image of allen's hummingbird egg in a nest.
Eggs in nest (Photos: Mike's Birds/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Preferred nesting sites for the Allen's Hummingbird vary, from low shrubs to high treetops. Nests are very small (two inches or less in diameter) and cup-shaped. Nesting material is usually white plant down and animal hair held together by spider web silk and camouflaged with small pieces of lichen, moss, and bark fragments. Their nests stretch to accommodate growing chicks.


Adults feed mainly on flower nectar, small insects, tree sap, and can often be found at hummingbird feeders. Red-colored flowers with a tube shaped corolla (entrance of the flower leading to the nectar) are very attractive to all hummingbirds and are a good choice if you wish to bring them to your yard. Specific plant species for Allen's Hummingbird include: twinberry honeysuckle (Lonicera involucrate), bush monkeyflower (Diplacus species), fuchsiaflowered gooseberry (Ribes speciosum), Indian paintbrush (Castilleja species), western columbine (Aquilegia formosa), penstemon (Penstemon and Keckia species), manzanita (Arctostaphylus species), and western leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis).

Causes of decline include habitat loss, capture by outdoor house cats, and collisions with windows. Constant conservation care and long-term monitoring are needed to prevent further population declines.

Last Updated: June 17, 2019
June 17, 2019