The Archilochus colubris, commonly known as The Ruby Throated Hummingbird is one species that fascinates most people. In the summertime, you can spot this little beauty in eastern North America and in the winter, they call Central America home.
Ruby Throated Hummingbird Facts
Like with many bird species, the male hummingbird is much more brightly colored than their female counterparts. The males have metallic green feathers on their backs and metallic red feathers around their throat, whereas the females are much duller in color and are missing the red throat feathers.
Even though these birds only weigh between 0.1 and 0.2 ounces, and their wingspan does not exceed 3.5 inches in length, they can travel up to 1000 miles during their migration periods. They prefer being in places where there are large amounts of flowers, such as open fields, backyards and parks.
These little wonders enjoy feeding on small insects and nectar. Sometimes they will feed on the sap from trees if there is no nectar available. These particular Hummingbirds prefer the nectar from flowers that are red or orange in color. Trumpet creepers and red morning glory are amoungst their favorites.
Scientists have always been amazed by their hovering ability. Their feet are very small, which make perching somewhat difficult and it is for this reason that hovering is their main form of locomotion. While hovering, their wings can beat up to 53 times per second – far more many times that other species.
Breeding season for these tiny creatures is in the months of June and July. They are extremely territorial during breeding season. The males and females do not form bonds beyond the breeding season and the territory size depends upon the amount of food that is readily available at the time.
The females can lay up to 3 times per year of between 1 and 3 eggs at a time. It only takes ten to fourteen days before the eggs hatch and the chicks are ready to leave the nest between eighteen and twenty days after hatching. Hummingbirds are sexually matured around one year after hatching.
Being such a small breed poses a number of threats. There are around 7 million of these miniture birds in the world at the moment. The IUNC and the ECOS do not currently regard this species as being under any imminent threat. However, climate change may affect their migration patterns int he future. At this point in time,it is not clear as to much much climate change could affect the species.
During a ten years study between 2001 and 2010, it was discovered that the varying temperatures have affected the hummingbirds migration to a certain degree. There are concerns that, in the future, as the climate continues to change, there will be a significant change in the migration patterns of this specific species.
The Ruby Throated Hummingbird has many people around the world mezmorized and it would be a pity if global warming ends up causing the extinction of the species.