Ruby-throated hummingbird facts, Hummingbird range, size & threats

There are hundreds of different species of hummingbirds in the world but the Ruby-throated hummingbird is the only hummingbird that breeds in eastern North America. It’s still possible to cite other species of hummingbirds in that area of the world though they’re far less common you’re more likely to see Chester trying to be a hummingbird.

Ruby-throated hummingbird facts

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Hummingbird Image Credit

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are incredibly small weighing only a tenth of an ounce that’s like a tenth of a slice of bread. In other words, you would need ten hummingbirds to balance out a scale with a single slice of bread on the other end. They are hollow bone birds which make weighing next to nothing fairly easy but still, ten hummingbirds equal one bread.

Hummingbird size & speed

Ruby-throated hummingbird identification
Hummingbird Photo Credit

They’re around three inches from beak to tail and their wingspan is are on four inches. They beat their wings just over fifty times a second and that’s what makes them hum they can fly as fast as 63 miles per hour during a dive but typically hover around 30 miles per hour. Ruby-throated hummingbirds like other hummingbirds are extremely acrobatic in the air. They can fly in any direction including backward and even upside down and can stop on a dime when they stop they really do hover in the air kind of like a helicopter.

Migration of Ruby-throated hummingbird

Broad-Tailed and Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Hummingbird Image Credit

It’s probably pretty useful that they can fly so fast because they’re actually migratory some traveling distances from Canada to Costa Rica during their migration. Many ruby-throated hummingbirds will cross the Gulf of Mexico in a single 18 to 24-hour flight in preparation for their migration.

Hummingbird diet

Ruby-throated Humming bird
Hummingbird Photo Credit

Ruby-throated hummingbirds will eat enough to gain twice their average body weight. They eat nectar from tubular flowers such as honeysuckle or morning-glories because of this they are pollinators like bees. They also eat insects like mosquitos and fruit flies and occasionally even spiders. Homeowners can also put out hummingbird feeders with sugar water nectar which will attract through Ruby-throated hummingbird and help the birds in building fat.

Ruby-throated hummingbird nest

They need to eat so much to maintain enough energy for their rapid wingbeats and movements when it comes to mating the males will perform dances when a female enters their territory. After they mate the male will move on leaving the female to race the young on her own. She will build a nest roughly the size of walnut about 10 to 20 feet off the ground.

She will lay a clutch of tiny white eggs and spend up to 80% of her time for the next two weeks incubating them after they hatch. She will continue to feed them for the next three weeks until they’re ready to fledge or leave the nest before they leave mother will continue feeding for a couple of days and by the time they’re ready to set off on their own.

Ruby-throated hummingbird threats

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Migration
Hummingbird Photo Credit

They will wait almost double what their mother does thanks to her dutiful and tenacious feeding schedule a female ruby-throated hummingbird will do this up to three times per year. Although we aren’t entirely sure how long they live the oldest documented ruby-throated hummingbird was a female over nine years old some myths about ruby-throated hummingbirds are that they hitch rides on larger birds in order to complete their migration.

The myth originated from a hunter who shot a goose and saw a hummingbird fly from the feathers when he went to claim it but that’s not true it’s like they fly their entire migration all on their own another myth about hummingbirds. In general, it is that they don’t have feet again this is untrue as they do have very tiny feet it just so happens that these feet are rather useless to the bird for any means of mobility.

Hummingbird Photo Credit

They can only really perch using their feet and can barely manage a stumbling walk so of course, this dispels the myth that hummingbirds never land they do land to perch and usually do so to survey their territory also for anyone who thinks they’ve seen a baby hummingbird flitting about they may have seen what’s called a hummingbird moth.

We better look into that one on another day – the Taino people who are native to Florida and the Caribbean the hummingbird is a symbol as a spreader of life across the earth. Their history state that hummingbirds were once flying that the sun-god agua Bhama transformed into little birds Pinot warriors are called hummingbirds because the hummingbird is peaceful but fiercely protects its homelands.

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