What is the difference between rufous and Anna’s hummingbirds?

Answered by James Kissner

The difference between rufous and Anna’s hummingbirds can be observed in their physical characteristics, specifically in terms of their coloration. The male rufous hummingbird is easily distinguished by its reddish-orange throat, also known as a gorget, which is a vibrant and striking color. However, it is important to note that the male rufous hummingbird does not have any red color on its head.

On the other hand, the male Anna’s hummingbird displays a different set of colors. It lacks the pink sides that are characteristic of the rufous hummingbird. Instead, the male Anna’s hummingbird has a back that is primarily green in color. Additionally, its sides are a dirty white shade, which further distinguishes it from the rufous hummingbird. Unlike the rufous hummingbird, the male Anna’s hummingbird does not possess any reddish-brown coloration on its back.

When it comes to identifying the female hummingbirds, the lack of pale rusty or “pink” coloring on the sides is the easiest way to differentiate between the two species. The female rufous hummingbird does not exhibit any pink coloring on its sides, while the female Anna’s hummingbird may have some pinkish hues on its sides.

The main differences between rufous and Anna’s hummingbirds lie in the coloration of their throats, heads, backs, and sides. The male rufous hummingbird has a reddish-orange throat and no red on its head, while the male Anna’s hummingbird lacks the pink sides and has a green back and dirty white sides. The absence of pale rusty or pink coloring on the sides is a key distinguishing factor for the females of these two species.