Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are one of the most well known hummingbirds in the world. They have bright red bibs (throat) and a emerald green back. It makes a laser-like cheep cheep, and is not usually found in large cites like Los Angeles.


Nectar from flowers and flowering trees, as well as small insects and spiders, are its main food. Although hummingbirds are well known to feed on nectar, small arthropods are also an important part of adult hummingbirds' diet. Arthropods appear to be the main source of protein, minerals, vitamins, providing a protein source since. Their diet may also occasionally include tree sap taken from sapsucker wells. Hummingbirds show a slight preference for red, tubular flowers as a nectar source. The birds feed from flowers using a long extendendable tongue, and catch insects on the wing or glean them from flowers, leaves, bark, and even from spider's webs.

Young birds are fed insects for protein since nectar is an insufficient source of protein for the growing birds.


The breeding habitat is throughout most of eastern North America and the Canadian prairies, in deciduous and pine forests and forest edges, orchards, and gardens. The female builds a nest in a protected location in a shrub or a tree. Of all North American hummingbirds, this species has the largest breeding range. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is migratory, spending most of the winter in southern MexicoCentral America as far south as South America, and the West Indies. It breeds throughout the eastern United States, east of the 100th meridian, and in southern Canada in eastern and mixed deciduous forest. In winter, it is seen mostly in Mexico.

Body StructureEdit

Hummingbirds have many skeletal and flight muscle adaptations which allow the bird great agility in flight. Muscles make up 25-30% of their body weight, and they have long, blade-like wings that, unlike the wings of other birds, connect to the body only from the shoulder joint. This adaptation allows the wing to rotate almost 180°, enabling the bird to fly not only forward but fly backwards, and to hover in front of flowers as it feeds on nectar, or hovers mid-air to catch tiny insects. Hummingbirds are the only known birds that can fly backwards.

During hovering, (and likely other modes of flight) ruby-throated hummingbird wings beat 55 times per second.

Conservation StatusEdit

Least Concern (LC)


Click the file below to hear a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird call.

Archilochus colubris