Rufous Hummingbird

rufhum
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Each map is a visual guide to where a particular bird species may find the climate conditions it needs to survive in the future. We call this the bird’s “climatic range.”

The colors indicate the season in which the bird may find suitable conditions— blue for winter, yellow for summer (breeding), and green for where they overlap (indicating their presence year-round).

The darker the shaded area, the more likely it is the bird species will find suitable climate conditions to survive there.

 

The outline of the approximate current range for each season remains fixed in each frame, allowing you to compare how the range will expand, contract, or shift in the future.

 

The first frame of the animation shows where the bird can find a suitable climate today (based on data from 2000). The next three frames predict where this bird’s suitable climate may shift in the future—one frame each for 2020, 2050, and 2080.

You can play or pause the animation with the orange button in the lower left, or select an individual frame to study by clicking on its year.

Climate Endangered

Rufous Hummingbird

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.

The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season.

More on reading these maps.
Winter
Summer

Winter Range
Summer Range
Both Seasons
Zoom InOut
Focal Species
Walter Nussbaumer/Audubon Photography Awards
Cool Facts

An extremely territorial bird, the Rufous has been known to jealously guard a particular bird feeder.

Small feet that make it hard for it to walk or hop.

Like other hummingbirds, it usually lays two eggs per nest.

The nest, built from soft materials like spider webs, moss, and fine plant fibers, is flexible enough that it can stretch as the young hummingbirds grow.


By 2080, this glittering hummingbird is projected to lose 100 percent of non-breeding range in the United States, according to Audubon’s climate model. While gains are possible to the north, the climate impacts to its core winter range in Mexico are unknown because they fall outside the study area, which was confined to the United States and Canada. The model projects that the hummer’s summer range will also be disrupted and move north. How all this disruption affects this charismatic bird, and how changes to flower phenology factor in, remains to be seen.

Species Range Change from 2000 to 2080

The size of the circles roughly indicates the species’ range size in 2000 (left) and 2080 (right).

The amount of overlap between the 2000 circle and the 2080 circle indicates how stable the range will be geographically. Lots of overlap means the bird’s range doesn’t shift much. No overlap means the species will leave its current range entirely.

About This Bird

This tiny hummer is a very long-distance migrant for its size, breeding as far north as southern Alaska and wintering as far south as southern Mexico. It migrates north very early in the year, passing through the deserts of northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States in February, March, and April, when flowers are widely available in those regions. Its southward migration is early also: Some Rufous Hummingbirds are already moving south by late June, and their peak passage is in late July and August. At that season they mostly follow the high mountain meadows, where wildflower blooms are at their peak in mid to late summer. A new wrinkle in their migratory route involves an eastward shift. Hundreds of Rufous Hummingbirds now spend the winter in the southeastern United States, where gardens and feeders have become omnipresent enough to sustain the birds through the season.

Cool Facts

An extremely territorial bird, the Rufous has been known to jealously guard a particular bird feeder.

Small feet that make it hard for it to walk or hop.

Like other hummingbirds, it usually lays two eggs per nest.

The nest, built from soft materials like spider webs, moss, and fine plant fibers, is flexible enough that it can stretch as the young hummingbirds grow.


Birds at Risk

Explore more birds threatened by climate change around the country.

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Brown Pelican
Burrowing Owl
Cerulean Warbler
Common Loon
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Golden Eagle
Greater Sage-Grouse
Hooded Oriole
Mississippi Kite
Northern Shoveler
Osprey
Piping Plover
Ruffed Grouse
Rufous Hummingbird
Spotted Owl
Tundra Swan
White-throated Sparrow
Yellow-billed Magpie