Ruby-throated Hummingbird



The ruby-throated hummingbird can be 3 to 5 inches long. These hummingbirds weigh as little as 3.40 to 3.80 g (0.12 to 0.13 oz) - or just about as much as a penny. They have feathers that can be different colors.

The male has a ruby-red throat, a white collar, an green back and a forked tail.

The female has a green back and tail feathers that are banded white, black and grey-green.


The ruby-throated hummingbird's diet includes feeding from the nectar of plants. They like plants that have red, long tube-like flowers. Hummingbirds will choose flowers with the highest sugar content because it has high-energy nectar.

Some of the plants they like are wild bergamots, bee balm, red buckeye, red morning glory and coral honeysuckle.

The ruby-throated hummingbird's preditor can be owls, hawks, snakes, cats, frogs and some spiders.


Ruby-throated hummingbirds make their nests in spruce, sugar maple and birch trees.

They arrive in Wisconsin in April or May and leave in September for warmer climates.

They have been seen at times in the following U.S. States: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia / Washington, D.C, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Maine, North Dakota, Texas.


The ruby-throated hummingbird (female) can produce 2, sometimes 3 broods each season.

They come together come together only to mate and breed between March through August.


The ruby-throated hummingbird lives from 3 to 5 years.

The oldest known surviving Ruby-throated Hummingbird was 6 years 11 months old.

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Interesting Facts

  • Hummingbirds are the second largest bird family, with over 340 species
  • All hummingbirds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which makes it illegal to hold hummingbird or eggs/chicks and interfere in any way with an active nest.
  • The male and female's level of aggression increases in late summer to early fall. They will "fight" over getting nectar from a flower ( need to fatten up for migration).
  • They fly over 500 miles to get to a warmer climate during the winter months
  • To save energy the hummingbird does a few things: The hummingbird's heart beat drops from about 200 beats per minute during the day, to 50 - 180 beats per minute at night.
  • They may even stop breathing for periods of time. This allows hummingbirds to use 50 times less energy
  • The Ruby-throated Hummingbird beats its wings about 53 times a second.


The research shows that there are approximately -----------ruby-throated hummingbirds that live in Wisconsin.

Hummingbirds are the second largest family with over 340 species - 29 of them are on Birdlife International endangered list.

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