We compared plants used as sites for nests and survival of nests of black-chinned hummingbirds (Archilochus alexandri) along two rivers in New Mexico. Along the free-flowing Gila River which was dominated by native plants, most nests were constructed in boxelder (Acer negundo). Along the flow-restricted Middle Rio Grande which was dominated by nonnative plants, most nests were constructed in nonnative plants such as Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) and saltcedar (Tamarix). Mean nest height varied among species of plants used as nesting sites but was about 4 m at each study area. Logistic exposure-estimates of survival of nests were considerably higher along the Middle Rio Grande (52%) than the along the Gila River (23%). Survival of nests was influenced by nest height and species of plant used as nesting site, with survival rates of nests greatest at mean heights in Russian olive and saltcedar. Our results highlight considerable variation in nesting characteristics between two study areas and show that subcanopy nest-sites are essential components of productive habitat for this species.