IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Archilochus colubris

The only breeding hummingbird in eastern North America, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is more often mistaken for an insect than for another species of bird. The smallest bird encountered in its breeding range (3-3 ¼ inches), the Ruby-throated Hummingbird may be identified by its small size, green back and forehead, long bill, and off-white breast. Males have a striking red throat (called a "gorget") and forked tail, while the female lacks this adornment and has a rounded tail. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird breeds across most of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. In winter, many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds migrate across the Gulf of Mexico to winter in southern Mexico and Central America, while others spend the winter in south Florida and the Florida Keys. Small numbers of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds winter further north along both coasts of Florida into the Gulf States and the Carolinas. During the summer, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds breed in deciduous forest, woodland edges, and around human developments. This species winters in tropical forests. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds eat small insects and drink nectar from tubular flowers, and will often enter gardens and yards to feed from hummingbird feeders. It is a major pollinator in its breeding range. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds may most often be observed feeding from flowers and hummingbird feeders, where they may either hover or perch while feeding. It is also possible to observe Ruby-throated Hummingbirds defending feeders or productive patches of flowers, when they may engage in acrobatic mid-air dogfights with other hummingbirds. This species is primarily active during the day.


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