Are There Hummingbirds in Calgary?

Ever wondered, “Are there hummingbirds in Calgary?” Well, the straightforward answer is yes! Calgary is a regular summer destination for the delightful and vibrant hummingbird species, most notably the Rufous and the Calliope Hummingbird. 

These tiny powerhouses make the long journey from their winter homes in Mexico and the southern United States to grace the city and surrounding regions with their mesmerising presence during the warmer months.

In this blog post, we will embark on a deep dive into the vibrant world of hummingbirds in Calgary. We’ll explore their migratory patterns, look at the species that frequent this region, discuss what attracts them to Calgary, and offer tips on how to create an inviting garden space for these tiny visitors. 

So, whether you’re a casual bird-watcher, a hardcore ornithologist, or just a curious soul, this article is for you.

Species of Hummingbirds in Calgary

Primarily, two species of hummingbirds grace Calgary: the Rufous Hummingbird and the Calliope Hummingbird.

  • Rufous Hummingbird: Known for its fiery reddish-brown plumage and astonishingly long migration routes, the Rufous Hummingbird has a well-deserved reputation as one of the feistiest hummingbird species. They’re easily recognised by their characteristic glowing orange-red throat.
  • Calliope Hummingbird: This is North America’s smallest bird species, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in its stunning beauty. The Calliope Hummingbird has a distinct magenta-streaked throat and is a delight to spot.

Migratory Patterns: Why Calgary?

Every year, like clockwork, hummingbirds make the long journey from their winter homes in Mexico and the southern United States to the temperate zones of North America for breeding. This journey involves crossing mountains and deserts, showcasing their incredible endurance. But why choose Calgary? The answer lies in the environment.

  • Rich Floral Resources: Calgary and its surroundings, with their lush natural landscapes, provide a rich supply of nectar from flowering plants, which form the primary food source for these energetic birds.
  • Favourable Climate: The warmer summer months in Calgary offer an optimal climate for hummingbirds to breed and raise their young.
  • Safe Habitats: Calgary’s diverse landscapes, from its verdant parks to residential gardens, present safe habitats for hummingbirds to nest.

Making Your Garden Hummingbird-Friendly

Creating a welcoming space for hummingbirds in your garden can be an enjoyable endeavour. Here are a few tips:

  • Plant Nectar-Rich Flowers: Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly coloured, tubular flowers that are rich in nectar. Planting a variety of such flowers, such as lupines, columbines, and lilies, will create an irresistible buffet for these birds.
  • Provide Fresh Water: A shallow bird bath or a gentle spray from a garden hose can serve as a water source, as hummingbirds enjoy bathing and preening themselves.
  • Avoid Pesticides: The use of pesticides can kill off small insects that hummingbirds rely on for protein, so it’s best to avoid them in your hummingbird-friendly garden.

The Impact of Climate Change

It’s essential to note that hummingbirds’ migratory patterns and populations may be influenced by climate change. Changing temperatures can cause shifts in the flowering times of plants they rely on for nectar, potentially impacting their food supply. 

So while we enjoy their presence, it’s crucial to think about how we can help safeguard these creatures and their habitats for the future.


In conclusion, Calgary, with its hospitable summer climate and bountiful floral resources, is indeed a stopover for hummingbirds. Observing these dynamic creatures in action can be a thrilling experience. 

However, as we marvel at their beauty, let’s also take a moment to reflect on our roles as stewards of the environment. 

By making conscious choices, like creating hummingbird-friendly spaces and minimising our ecological impact, we can ensure that Calgary remains a haven for hummingbirds for years to come. Who knows? 

This small step may lead to big changes, encouraging other species to join the hummingbirds in making Calgary their summer home!

FAQs – Are there Hummingbirds in Calgary?

Q: Which species of hummingbirds can be spotted in Calgary?

A: The Rufous Hummingbird and the Calliope Hummingbird are the two species commonly seen in Calgary.

Q: When can I expect to see hummingbirds in Calgary?

A: Hummingbirds usually arrive in Calgary during the warmer summer months, which is when they migrate north for breeding.

Q: Why do hummingbirds choose Calgary as their summer destination?

A: Calgary offers a favourable climate during the summer months, rich floral resources for nectar, and safe habitats for nesting, which makes it an ideal location for hummingbirds.

Q: How can I attract hummingbirds to my garden?

A: You can attract hummingbirds to your garden by planting nectar-rich, brightly coloured, tubular flowers, providing a freshwater source, and avoiding the use of pesticides.

Q: What food sources do hummingbirds rely on in Calgary?

A: Hummingbirds primarily feed on nectar from flowers in Calgary. They are also known to eat small insects for protein.

Q: What distinguishes a Rufous Hummingbird from a Calliope Hummingbird?

A: The Rufous Hummingbird is recognised by its fiery reddish-brown plumage and bright orange-red throat, whereas the Calliope Hummingbird is North America’s smallest bird with magenta streaks on its throat.

Q: How might climate change impact hummingbirds in Calgary?

A: Climate change could potentially alter the timing of flower blooming, thereby affecting the food supply for hummingbirds. Also, shifts in temperature might impact their migratory patterns.

Q: Do hummingbirds in Calgary stay here all year round?

A: No, hummingbirds in Calgary are typically present during the summer months for breeding. They migrate back to warmer regions during the winter.

Q: Are there specific flowers that hummingbirds in Calgary are attracted to?

A: Yes, hummingbirds in Calgary are particularly attracted to brightly coloured, tubular flowers that are rich in nectar, such as lupines, columbines, and lilies.

Q: How far do hummingbirds travel to reach Calgary?

A: Hummingbirds travel thousands of miles from their winter homes in Mexico and the southern United States to reach Calgary for the summer breeding season.

Related Posts to Read:


  • About Hummingbird (Link).
  • About Calgary (Link)
  • Greenewalt, C. H. (1960). Hummingbirds. New York: Doubleday. Google Scholar.
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Sam Olusanya

Sam Olusanya is a tech-savvy IT professional specializing in cybersecurity and blockchain technology. An active gamer and car lover, Sam also champions charitable causes, mainly supporting orphanages. A bird lover at heart, he seamlessly blends digital proficiency with compassionate action. Read More About Me.

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