Want to know more about the Ruby-throated Hummingbird? Simply click below for the Audubon Guide to North American Birds
What the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird lacks in size, packs in beauty. Specific to the east of the Great Plains during mating season and migration, its ruby red, iridescent throat and splashes of green along its body stands out. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird has very short legs which hinders them from walking or hopping. Don’t be fooled, they make up for their short legs with the speed of their wings, which flap 53 times a second. Because of this, they will eat insects from midair or those trapped in sap, from red or orange tubular flowers and feeders.
Lover of the open land, the hummingbird lives in deciduous woodlands, staying on the edges of forests, meadows, stream borders and backyards. Although they normally nest in trees, they have been sighted close to human habitation, nesting in fences, water hoses, etc. When migrating south for the winter, you will find the hummingbird in dry forests and orchards relaxing in the tropics.
They Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are known to be inquisitive, especially the males, which is why you will see them close to human presence. The males claim territory, mostly their food source, and will guard it from other birds. They will also stay at their food source to load up to sustain the amount of food necessary to fulfill the movement they must make to get around.