Ruby-throated Hummingbird


Common Name
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Scientific Name
Archilochus colubris
Length
3 3/4"
Weight
Weight can range from 2 to 6 g (0.071 to 0.21 oz), with males averaging 3.4 g (0.12 oz) and the slightly larger female averaging 3.8 g (0.13 oz)

Range

The only hummingbird found consistently all over the Eastern U.S.

Ruby-throats gather in Florida, Louisiana and along the South Texas coast in September in preparation for the final push to the south, either over the Gulf of Mexico or via an overland route through Mexico.

First arrivals in the spring, usually males, are back in Texas and Louisiana in late February to mid-March. In more northern states, first arrivals are not until April or May.

Lifespan of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The average life span is estimated by experts to be 3 - 5 years. Most deaths occur in the first year of life. The record age of a banded ruby-throated hummingbird is 6 years, 11 months.

Characteristics and Identification

The adult male has a brilliant ruby red throat (gorget), black chin, and deeply notched, forked tail. Males use a repeating "pendulum" arch of flight to attract females.

The female's throat is white, and immatures are similar in color to the female. The female body is slender, with a blunt, rounded tail with white corners.

Very rare forms of Albino and white Leucistic Ruby-throat Hummingbirds do exist.

The Ruby-throated and Black-chinned hummingbirds are very similar, but have separate ranges. The Ruby-throated has a straight beak, while the Black-chinned is curved. And the red gorget of the Ruby-throat can appear black in certain light and at certain angles.

The Ruby-throated and Broad-tailed are also similar in many ways. But they occupy separate ranges, Ruby-throats in the Eastern US and Broad-tails in the Western US.

Comparison of the Broad-tailed, Ruby-throated and Black-chinned hummingbirds


Included below is a map showing the average spring migration arrival dates for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in North America. Arrival dates vary from year to year and from location to location, depending on a number of weather-related conditions and other environmental factors.
Map showing the average spring migration arrival dates for Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds in North America

 

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding on a pink California Giant Zinna (August 12, 2015)

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird feeding on a pink Giant Zinnia, August 12, 2015, in East Texas
Source: Author's Photo Archives
Ruby-throated Hummingbird ... yes, it IS my feeder!
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Source: Author's Photo Archives
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Spring of 2019
Male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird- Spring of 2017
Source: Author's Photo Archives
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds feeding during fall migration
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Source: Author's Photo Archives
Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding ... and hovering!
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird feeding ... and hovering!
Source: Author's Photo Archives
Ruby-throated Hummingbird ... sitting stunned after flying into a window ... it was fine, and flew off!
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird ... sitting stunned after flying into a window ... it was fine, and flew off!
Source: Author's Photo Archives
Ruby-throated Hummingbird enjoying a moment of peace before the next attack!
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Source: Author's Photo Archives

 

Young male Ruby-throated Hummingbird ... at Rest!
Young male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird ... at Rest!
Source: Author's Photo Archives
Fluffed-up Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Fluffed-up Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Source: Author's Photo Archives
Ruby-throated Hummingbird waiting patiently on its feeder
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird waiting patiently on its feeder
Source: Author's Photo Archives
Ruby-throated Hummingbird ... Sitting alone on a lawn chair!
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

 

The World of Nature, Series V

"Among Our Feathered Friends" - #10 The Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Distributed by the Coca-Cola Company - Circa 1930s

Card size of 2-1/2" x 4", with artwork by Lynn Bogue Hunt

(from the author's collection)

The World of Nature, Series V, "Among Our Feathered Friends" ... the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, card distributed by the Coca-Cola Co., circa 1930s

The Hummingbird Central Store: feeders, books, supplies, gifts and more!

 

 

More Resources

Copyright © 2020 HummingbirdCentral.com • All Rights Reserved