Are there Hummingbirds in Alexandria, Virginia?

Hummingbirds in Alexandria, Virginia: A Journey into Their Presence and Significance

One of the common questions for hummingbird bird lovers is whether hummingbirds can be found in Alexandria, Virginia. The answer is Yes; there are hummingbirds in Alexandria, Virginia. 

More specifically, you will frequently encounter the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris), the only species known to breed in the eastern half of North America, including Virginia.

In this blog post, we will venture into the mesmerising world of hummingbirds in Alexandria, Virginia, offering a deep dive into their migratory patterns, habitat preferences, and unique behavioural traits. 

We will also shed light on how you can create a hummingbird-friendly yard to encourage these petite powerhouses to grace your gardens.

Are there Hummingbirds in Alexandria Virginia

Understanding the Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird, the chief species found in Alexandria, Virginia, is a tiny bird with a big personality. 

Characterised by their iridescent green backs and crowns, white undersides, and the distinctive ruby-red throats of males, these birds are a sight to behold. Here are some fascinating details about them:

  • Migratory Behaviour: Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are known for their epic migratory journeys. They breed throughout the eastern half of North America, including Virginia, from spring to late summer. Around late August, they embark on a non-stop flight across the Gulf of Mexico to spend their winter in Central America.
  • Feeding Habits: Their primary diet comprises nectar from flowers and small insects. They are frequent visitors to backyard feeders and have a crucial role in pollination.
  • Unique Traits: These hummingbirds can beat their wings 53 times per second and even fly backwards—an astounding display of agility and energy.

Hummingbirds in Alexandria: Understanding Their Seasonal Patterns

For those intrigued by the hummingbirds of Alexandria, it’s useful to understand their seasonal patterns. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds typically start arriving in Virginia around mid-April, with males usually appearing first. 

The peak of their arrival typically occurs in May. They spend the summer months breeding and raising their young before beginning to migrate southwards around late August or early September. 

Interestingly, the juveniles often leave before their parents. By October, most hummingbirds will have left Alexandria for winter in warmer climes.

The Hummingbird Life Cycle in Alexandria

Delving deeper into the life of hummingbirds, the female Ruby-throated Hummingbird typically lays two white eggs, around the size of a small jellybean. She incubates these eggs for nearly two weeks before the chicks hatch. 

The chicks, entirely dependent on their mother, stay in the nest for approximately three weeks. During this time, the mother hummingbird feeds them a diet of tiny insects and nectar, helping them grow rapidly. 

By the end of summer, the fledglings are ready to embark on their first migration journey, an impressive feat given their age and size.

The Ecological Role of Hummingbirds in Alexandria

The presence of hummingbirds in Alexandria contributes significantly to local ecosystems. Their high-energy lifestyle and diet of nectar mean they play a crucial role in pollination. 

As they move from flower to flower, they carry pollen on their beaks and heads, helping to fertilise the flowers and enable the production of seeds. Additionally, by consuming small insects, they help control pest populations. 

Therefore, efforts to attract and conserve hummingbirds also indirectly support wider biodiversity within Alexandria’s gardens and green spaces.

Inviting Hummingbirds to Your Garden in Alexandria

If you reside in Alexandria, Virginia, and wish to attract these wonderful creatures to your garden, there are several steps you can take:

  • Plant Native Flowers: Hummingbirds are particularly fond of brightly coloured, tubular flowers such as bee balm, cardinal flowers, and trumpet vine, which are rich in nectar.
  • Install Feeders: You can hang hummingbird feeders filled with a mixture of four parts of water and one part of white granulated sugar to mimic flower nectar.
  • Provide Water Sources: Small fountains, misters, or shallow bird baths can attract hummingbirds as they love to bathe and preen.
  • Create Safe Spaces: Planting trees or tall shrubs provides hummingbirds with safe nesting sites and places to rest.

Conservation Efforts and Citizen Science

Conservation of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, like any wildlife species, is a collective effort. In Alexandria, Virginia, initiatives like habitat restoration and monitoring programs contribute significantly towards maintaining healthy hummingbird populations.

As residents, participating in citizen science projects such as the Audubon Society’s Hummingbirds at Home can help track and study these birds, supporting long-term conservation efforts.


There’s an undeniable charm about the presence of hummingbirds in Alexandria, Virginia. Their seemingly tireless energy and vibrantly adorned bodies make them a delightful addition to our local ecosystem.

As we’ve discovered, welcoming these beautiful birds into our yards requires an understanding of their lifestyle and preferences.

However, let’s not limit ourselves to merely appreciating their aesthetic appeal. Our fascination with hummingbirds should also translate into active participation in their conservation.

In our pursuit to attract these tiny aviators, let’s commit to creating not just hummingbird-friendly but also wildlife-friendly environments. Remember, every garden humming with life is a testament to the harmonious coexistence of humans and nature. 

The melodious humming in your yard might just be the symphony of life playing its most captivating notes.

So, the next time you spot a hummingbird in Alexandria, pause for a moment to appreciate its magnificence and remember the vital role you can play in its survival. 

May their flight inspire us to reach higher in our efforts towards conservation, and may their vibrant presence bring a splash of colour to our understanding of nature’s fascinating tapestry.

FAQs – Hummingbirds in Alexandria, Virginia

Q: What type of hummingbirds can you commonly find in Alexandria, Virginia?

A: The most common type of hummingbird you can find in Alexandria, Virginia, is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris).

Q: When do Ruby-throated Hummingbirds arrive in Alexandria?

A: Ruby-throated Hummingbirds usually start arriving in Alexandria, Virginia, around mid-April, with their arrival peak occurring in May.

Q: How long do hummingbirds stay in Alexandria, Virginia, before migrating?

A: They typically spend the summer months in Alexandria, Virginia, starting their southward migration around late August or early September.

Q: What do Ruby-throated Hummingbirds eat?

A: Their primary diet comprises nectar from flowers and small insects. They are also known to visit backyard feeders for sugar water.

Q: How can I attract hummingbirds to my garden in Alexandria, Virginia?

A: You can attract hummingbirds by planting native, brightly coloured, tubular flowers rich in nectar, installing hummingbird feeders, providing water sources, and creating safe spaces with trees or tall shrubs for nesting and rest.

Q: How many eggs do Ruby-throated Hummingbirds typically lay?

A: Female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds usually lay two white eggs, roughly the size of a small jellybean.

Q: How long is the incubation period for Ruby-throated Hummingbird eggs?

A: The incubation period for Ruby-throated Hummingbird eggs is about two weeks.

Q: How long do Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks stay in the nest?

A: Ruby-throated Hummingbird chicks, after hatching, typically stay in the nest for approximately three weeks under the care of their mother.

Q: What is the role of hummingbirds in Alexandria’s ecosystem?

A: In Alexandria, hummingbirds, particularly Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, contribute significantly to local ecosystems. They play a crucial role in pollination and help control pest populations by consuming small insects.

Q: How can I contribute to the conservation of hummingbirds in Alexandria?

A: You can contribute to the conservation of hummingbirds in Alexandria by creating a hummingbird-friendly garden, participating in citizen science projects, and supporting local initiatives for habitat restoration and monitoring programs.

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