Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

[order] APODIFORMES | [family] Trochilidae | [latin] Archilochus colubris | [UK] Ruby-throated Hummingbird | [FR] Colibri a gorge rubis | [DE] Rubinkehlkolibri | [ES] Colibri Gorgirrubi, Colibri Garganta de Rubi (Cr), Colibri Cuello de Rubi (HN) | [NL] Robijnkeelkolibrie


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

The male Ruby-throat has a glowing fiery red throat, iridescent green back, and a forked tail. The female lacks the red throat; has a blunt tail with white spots.

Listen to the sound of Ruby-throated Hummingbird

[audio: Hummingbird.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 9 cm size max.: 10 cm
incubation min.: 15 days incubation max.: 16 days
fledging min.: 15 days fledging max.: 20 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


North America : East, Central


Gardens, wood edges.
Summers in a variety of semi-open habitats, including open woods, clearings and edges in forest, gardens, city parks. Winters mostly in rather open or dry tropical scrub, not usually in rain forest. Migrants may pause in any habitat with flowers.


In courtship display, male flies back and forth in wide U-shaped “pendulum” arc, making whirring sound on each dive; also buzzes back and forth in short passes in front of perched female. Male and female may fly up and down facing each other.
Nest: Site is in tree or large shrub, 5-50′ above ground, usually 10-
20′, saddled on horizontal or sloping branch. Nest (built by female) is a cup of plant down and plant fibers, held together with spider webs, the outside camouflaged with lichens and dead leaves. May refurbish and reuse old nest.
Eggs: 2. White. Incubation is by female only, 11-16 days.
Young: Female feeds young by inserting her bill deep into their throats, then regurgitating food, including tiny insects and nectar. Nest gradually stretches as young grow. Age of young at first flight about 20-
22 days. Usually 1-2 broods per year, sometimes 3.

Feeding habits

Mostly nectar and small insects.
Consumes nectar, especially from red tubular flowers such as trumpet vine, also many other flowers. Also feeds on sugar-water and oozing sap. Eats many small insects (such as aphids and gnats) and spiders.
Feeds by hovering and inserting its bill in flowers to take nectar. Will also hover and perch at hummingbird feeders, and will visit holes drilled in tree bark by sapsuckers to feed on sap. Flies out from a perch to take insects in the air or from foliag


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird status Least Concern


Southern Canada to Gulf states. Winters southern Florida to western Panama. Migration: Almost all leave North America in fall, wintering from Mexico to Costa Rica or Panama. Some ma
y cross Gulf of Mexico, but most apparently go around Gulf, concentrating along Texas coast. In spring, males move north earlier than females.

Distribution map

Ruby-throated Hummingbird distribution range map

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