Hummingbirds with ruby-throated throats fly extremely fast. The birds can beat their wings at a rate of more than 50 times per second. The beat of the wings may be heard, which is referred to as a humming sound, hence the bird’s name. Hummingbirds with ruby-throated throats make a mouse-like squeak as well.
These tiny hummingbirds stand about 3.5 inches (nine cm) tall and weigh less than a quarter of an ounce (seven grams). Except for one major variation, male and female ruby-throated hummingbirds seem quite similar. The males have a ruby-throat, which gives the species its name, while the females have a white throat. Males and females both have metallic green heads, backs, sides, wings, and tails, as well as a white chest and belly. The male’s throat might appear pink, red, or even purple depending on the lighting.
Hummingbirds with ruby-throats spend their summers in the eastern United States. They travel to their wintering grounds in Central America in the autumn. Some ruby-throated hummingbirds have been observed in southern Florida throughout the winter. Fields, parks, backyards, and wide clearings in woods are among their preferred habitats, as are fields, parks, and backyards.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds feed on nectar from flowers like salvia, trumpet creeper, bee balm, thistle petunia, and jewelweed with their long, needlelike bill. They will also happily feed on hummingbird feeders in the backyard, which the birds may consider part of their domain. A ruby-throated hummingbird will defend its territory against all potential attackers, including other birds, huge insects, and even small mammals, after it has been marked.
In the eastern United States, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the only breeding hummingbirds. The ruby-throated hummingbird’s nest is delicate and takes 6 to 10 days to construct. The small nest, which is typically the size of a thimble and sits atop a limb, is often the size of a thimble. The spider silk holds the grasses and plant fibers together in the nest. More plant material is then used to line it.
The eggs take around two weeks to hatch. After hatching, the young can fly in as little as 20 days.
The ruby-throated hummingbird isn’t a threatened species. Hummingbird feeders can draw it to yards, but they can become a problem if they are placed in areas where they make hummingbirds easy prey for cats or other animals. If the feeders are put near windows, the birds may fly into them, posing a danger. COMMON NAMES: Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Ruby-
Archilochus colubris is the scientific name for Archilochus colubris.
ANIMAL SPECIES: BIRD
DIET: I’m an omnivore.
IN THE WILD, THE AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IS 5 TO 9 YEARS.
HEIGHT: 3–4 INCHES
WEIGHT: 0.07 oz. to 0.21 oz.
Although the male ruby-throated hummingbird has a stunning red throat, the female of the species does not.
Capabilities In The Air
These swift little birds can beat their wings 53 times per second and soar in an acrobatic style equaled by a few other birds, so you’d have to look fast to see either. They frequently hover and also fly backward and upside down. These hummingbirds have exceedingly small legs, making it impossible for them to walk or even hop.
Habitat and Nutrition
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are found in wooded places, as well as gardens with a lot of floral plants. Flowers, nectar, and sap are what they feed on while they hover. The birds pollinate several plants throughout this floral feeding activity.
These little birds are omnivores, eating insects and spiders on occasion. The tremendous metabolism required to maintain its rapid wing beat and vigorous motions allows an adult ruby-throated hummingbird to consume twice its body weight in food every day.
This hummingbird is the only hummingbird species that breeds in eastern North America. Males establish a territory and use flying and diving activities, as well as showing off their red throat plumage, to court females that enter it. Young hummingbirds are entirely cared about by females. They deposit one to three eggs, incubate them for two weeks, and feed their young for three weeks after they hatch. In a given year, a female may have many broods. Outside of the breeding season, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are mostly solitary.
Hummingbirds with ruby-throats spend their winters in Mexico and Central America. Some birds fly across the Gulf of Mexico in a marathon, the uninterrupted journey from their North American nesting areas. In order to prepare for this arduous trek, they may quadruple their weight.
The wings of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird beat 53 times every second.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird can’t walk or hop because of its exceedingly tiny legs. It can only shuffle along with a perch at best. Nonetheless, by raising its foot up and over its wing, it scratches its head and neck.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds like red or orange blooms to feed on (but you don’t have to color the sugar water in a hummingbird feeder). Hummingbirds, like many other birds, have excellent color vision and can perceive ultraviolet wavelengths that humans cannot.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds usually build their nests on the branches of deciduous or coniferous trees, although they are habituated to human presence and have been reported to build nests on-chain, wire, and extension cord loops.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only hummingbird that breeds in eastern North America. However, this species has the biggest breeding range of any North American hummingbird in terms of area.
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are short-lived. Only a few days to weeks separate pairs long enough for courtship and mating. Then he’s on his own, and he could start migrating as early as August.
When a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird was recovered and re-released in 2014 during banding operations in West Virginia, she was at least 9 years, and 2 months old.
Hummingbirds can fly forward, backward, and even hover in situ because their wings beat so quickly.
Nectar-producing flowers native to the bird’s territory, such as trumpet creeper, coral honeysuckle, bee balm, buckeye, and cardinal flower, attract Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.
Many of the plants they eat in their natural habitat have red or orange flowers. The majority of hummingbird feeders are red to match the native plants they eat.
They consume nectar from flowers with their long tongues and narrow beaks.
Hummingbirds eat insects and spiders that are very small. These invertebrates provide sustenance for their young.