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Monday, August 28, 2017

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

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The Ruby Throated Hummingbird's Latin name is Archilochus colubris. Archilochus means first in importance. There is no translation for colubris. This type of hummingbird has bright emerald or golden-green coloring on its back and crown. Its underparts are gray and white. The name "Ruby Throated" refers to the red throat found only on males. The birds are small with a short wing-span and have a down-curved bill. While in flight, they can hover, fly straight, stop instantly, and adjust their position up and down. Other behavior includes defending bird feeders and plucking insects out of spiderwebs. The wing of the Ruby Throated Hummingbird beats 53 times per second. They have adapted to humans with nests made of wire, chains, and extension cords. Their nests are 10-40 feet above the ground. When mating, females watch while males show off their flying abilities. The males fly 15m in the air and do a U-shaped pattern or turn. Click here to listen to the sounds of these birds. The habitats in which these birds can be found include open woodlands, forest edges, meadows, grasslands, parks, gardens, and backyards. They eat insects like mosquitoes, gnats, fruit flies, small bees, and sometimes spiders after they've plucked insects out of the spiders' webs. They also eat seeds and the nectar of red or orange tubular flowers such as the trumpet creeper, cardinal flower, honeysuckle, jewelweed, bee-balm, red buckeye and red morning glory, and tree sap. Their population status is "Least Concern." Their migratory pattern includes the eastern and midwestern part of North America and southern parts of Canada during summer, which is their breeding season. They migrate south into Central America during winter. The following map depicts the path of their migration:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Range Map

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