Members of this species are solitary, only coming together to mate. Breeding season occurs between March and July, with peak breeding occurring in mid-May. Males migrate to the breeding ground in the central and eastern United States and southern Canada before females to establish territories. Upon the females return, the males perform courtship displays when a female enters its territory. The male erects its red throat feathers and harasses the female. He also performs a dive display by flying in looping dives above the female. After copulation the female creates a walnut-sized nest attached to a tree limb and raises the young alone. The nest is an open cup made of thistle and dandelion down and held together by spider webs. The outside of the nest is covered in lichens. A typical clutch size is two, with eggs being white and pea-sized. The eggs are incubated for 10 to 16 days, and the young remain in the nest for 14 to 28 days. They are born helpless and naked. The female continues to feed the young for 10 days after they leave the nest. The female generally has two broods, but occasionally has three. These birds migrate to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean to overwinter. A roundtrip migration can be as far as 500 miles. Amazingly, these tiny birds fly non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico.
- Ruby-throated hummingbird: Archilochus colubris (United States Geological Survey)
- Celebrating Wildflowers: Ruby-throated Hummingbird (United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service)
- Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) (Fish and Wildlife Management Leaflet, Dec. 1999, No. 14, United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service)
- Ruby-throated Hummingbird (All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
- Archilochus colubris: Ruby-throated Hummingbird (M. S. Harris and R. Naumann, Animal Diversity Web, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology)
- Ruby-throated hummingbird: Archilochus colubris (Hummingbirds.net)
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