Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Archilochus colubris

Order

APODIFORMES

Family

Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

Code 4

RTHU

Code 6

ARCCOL

ITIS

Egg Color:

White



Number of Eggs:

2



Incubation Days:

11 - 16



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

5 - 20 feet above ground.



Nest Material:

Soft plant down, fireweed, milkweed thistles, and leaves.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: Medium-sized hummingbird with iridescent green upperparts, head, and flanks. Underparts are pale gray with paler breast and green wash on sides and belly; throat is bright red with black chin. Tail is dark and forked. Female and juvenile are duller with white throats and white-edged, rounded tails; subadult male is similar but has dark flecks on throat.

Range and Habitat

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: Breeds from southern Canada across the central and eastern states to the Gulf Coast; only hummingbird that breeds east of the Mississippi River. Spends winters mainly in the tropics from coastal southern Mexico south, and rarely on the Gulf Coast. Found in woodlands, orchards, and gardens.

Breeding and Nesting

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: Two white eggs are laid in a nest woven from plant down, held together with spider silk, covered with lichens, and saddled to a tree branch, usually in a forest clearing. Eggs are incubated for 11 to 16 days by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: Feeds mostly on nectar, but also eats insects and spiders; preferred flowers include honeysuckle, petunias, nasturtiums, and lilacs, but is often attracted to red-flowered species. Consumes twice its body weight each day.

Readily Eats

Sugar Water, Commercial instant nectars

Vocalization

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: Call is a mouse-like, twittering squeak.

Similar Species

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: Broad-tailed Hummingbird has a duller red throat and lacks black chin. Female is distinguished from the following: Calliope Hummingbird has rufous on flanks and tail; Anna's Hummingbird is larger and has grayer breast; Costa's Hummingbird is smaller, stouter, and has pale eyebrows; Black-chinned Hummingbird has grayer crown and underparts.

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
ChinX
The area of the face just below the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X