Ruby-throated Hummingbird

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image: rubythroathum.jpg

Common Name: Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Scientific Name: Archilochus colubris

Size: 3-3.75 inches (7.5-9cm)

Habitat: Eastern United States to Central America. Migration follows favorite pollen and insect sources.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 7,000,000 mature individuals. Populations are stable, however loss of key plant species could put this bird at risk.

Diet: Pollen and small insects. At times hummingbirds will fly-catch by diving into clouds of gnats. Breeding: Ruby-throat's nesting is determined by the location of it’s key feeding plants. Females construct the tiny nest out of leafy material and are bound together with spider webs and tent caterpillar nests. They sometimes decorate their nests with lichens. The nests are placed on downward sloping limbs that are protected by other branches. Once the nest is completed, the female begins courtship with a male. After courtship, the male leaves and the female incubates two eggs. She cares for the hatchlings by herself. Young hummingbirds are born naked and blind and fledge after about three weeks.

Cool Facts: The northern migration of this hummingbird appears to be linked to the flowering of various plants in the spring. The red buckeye (Aesculus pavia), the Canadian columbine (Aquilegia canadensi) and the Clove currant (Ribes odoratum) are among its favorites. It is believed that up to 19 species of plant have evolved specifically to partner with the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, influenced by its pollination. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have one of the longest migration paths of any hummingbird. Wintering in Central America and migrating through Mexico and Texas in the Eastern US coast. It is believed that some Ruby-throated Hummingbirds do make the 500-mile shortcut across the Gulf of Mexico. During the spring migration, males travel ahead of females to set up forging territories. Males are very territorial.

Found in Songbird ReMix Second Edition and in Songbird ReMix Hummingbirds of North America

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