Hummingbirds with gem-like colors are plentiful in Zion National Park. Several species can be seen throughout the park, especially in the lush canyon bottom along the Virgin River. This river gives hummingbirds ideal habitat in which to spend the summer months. The river is flanked with Fremont cottonwood trees (Populus fremontii) that give these precious, tiny birds a source of food; shelter from the weather; and a place to make their homes and raise their young.
The frequently observed species are the black-chinned (Archilochus alexandri) and broad-tailed (Selasphorus platycercus) hummingbirds which are most common in Zion Canyon during the breeding season. The rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) is often seen as it passes through Zion in late summer during its migration south.
A surprisingly wide variety of wildflowers in this desert environment give these nectar eaters an assortment of food to choose from. Scarlet gilia (Gilia aggregata), golden cryptanth (Cryptantha confertiflora), hummingbird flower (Zauschneria latifolia), Eaton's firecracker (Penstemon eatonii), Utah penstemon (Penstemon utahensis), and Palmer's penstemon (Penstemon palmeri) are especially attractive to Zion's hummingbirds and are considered some of their favorites.
Delight in the encounter you may experience with these precious winged creatures as you explore the park's many trails.
Return to the Birds page.
Last updated: November 25, 2019