Ruby Throated Humming Bird

(Archilochus colubris)

Ruby Throated Humming Bird
Ruby Throated Humming Bird

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the smallest in the hummingbird species. It is from 2.8 to 3.5 inches long and has a 3.1 to 4.3 inch wingspan. The males average 0.12 ounces versus the slightly larger female which averages 0.13 ounces. Adults are metallic green above and greyish white below, with near-black wings. Their bills are up to 0.79 of an inch long, slightly down curved and very slender. The male has a brilliant red throat patch also known as a gorget.The male has a dark forked tail. The female has a dark rounded tail with white tips and generally no throat patch, though she may sometimes have a light or whitish throat patch. The male is smaller than the female, and has a slightly shorter beak.

The Ruby-throated hummingbird arrives in Georgia in late February or early March and usually leaves by mid-October. When they migrate to Central America. Some fly over the Gulf of Mexico, some go overland through Mexico and others take a short cut from the Texas coast into Mexico.

They prefer a habitat that forms the border between woodlands and meadows. This gives them access to mature trees for nesting and areas that contain flowering plants that supply nectar and small insects both of which are part of its diet.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are easily attracted to feeders because of their inquisitive nature where males in particular typically display aggressive territoriality toward rival hummingbirds, other birds, and even insects. such as bees.They quickly become accustomed to human presence. Click on image for more info.

A lot of interesting information can be found at this site – Ruby-throated Hummingbird web site.

Fun Facts

They can hover, fly upside down and fly backwards.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird can can scratch its head and neck with its feet.

Eats about its weight in nectar or sugar water each day.

Their hearts beat about 250 times per minute while at rest, about 1,220 per minute while flying.