Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Facts
|Size||2.7-3.5 in; 3.1-4.3 in (7-9 cm) (wingspan)|
|Speed||Up to 30 mph (48 km/h)|
|Weight||0.07-0.2 oz (2-6 g)|
|Food||Nectar, tree sap, insects, spiders|
|Predators||Falcons, Eurasian jays, cats|
|Habitat||Breeding territory: North America, winter habitat: Central America|
|Scientific name||Archilochus colubris|
|Characteristics||Long thin bill, able to fly backwards|
There are 330-340 species of hummingbirds. They exclusively live in America, most of them near the equator, mainly in South America. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only one living in the east of Canada and the USA.
Fastest wing beat
The ruby-throated hummingbird is one of the fastest birds. Not because of its speed when flying. Of all birds, the ruby-throated hummingbird has the fastest wing beat.
Bird with the Smallest Number of Feathers
The ruby-throated hummingbird holds a record: Of all birds worldwide, it is the one with the smallest number of feathers. While the whistling swan has about 25,000 feathers, the ruby-throated hummingbird does not have more than about 940.
The Sun Makes the Plumage Shine
If the sun shines on the plumage of the ruby-throated hummingbird, it starts to shimmer beautifully. In the shade, the animals appear fairly gray and matt.
Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds Have a Lot of Stamina
When winter comes to their breeding territory in North America, it is getting extremely cold. Too cold for the little birds. Therefore they make a move and fly to Central America, where it is nice and warm.
For this they cover a distance of 1,860 miles (3,000 km) and manage a 620 miles (1,000 km) nonstop flight over the Gulf of Mexico (a huge bay).
They need a lot of energy for their journey, so that they stuff themselves with food and double their weight before they start.
Males and Females Have Different Plumages
When having a look at our picture gallery, you could think that it shows two different species of birds. But all pictures show ruby-throated hummingbirds.
The throats of the males have a distinct red and shimmering color and a greenish back.
The females have a white throat and are generally less flashy and colorful. With good reason as this makes it much more difficult for enemies to detect them.
Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds Have Many Enemies
Not only birds of prey, snakes, cats, and reptiles are threats for the ruby-throated hummingbird. As the bird is so small, it also has to watch out for the praying mantis, orb-weavers, and green darners.
- Watch now on animalfunfacts.net:
- Video: All about Birds - 5 Interesting Facts - e.g. about hummingbirds