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Thursday, April 26, 2018
Ruby Red Throat
About the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
The male Ruby-throated hummingbird does indeed have a striking red throat, though the female of the species does not.
You would have to look quickly to see either, however, as these
speedy little birds can beat their wings 53 times a second and fly in an
acrobatic style matched by few other birds. They hover often, and also
fly upside down and backwards. These hummingbirds have extremely short
legs, so they cannot walk or even hop with any efficiency.
Habitat and Diet
Ruby-throated hummingbirds live in woodland areas, but also frequent
gardens where flowering plants are plentiful. They hover to feed on
flowers, nectar, and sap. During this floral feeding process, the birds
pollinate many plants.
These tiny birds are omnivores, sometimes feeding on insects and
spiders. An adult Ruby-throated hummingbird may eat twice its body
weight in food each day, which it burns up with the high metabolism
necessary to sustain its rapid wing beat and energetic movements.
This hummingbird breeds in eastern North America and is the only
hummingbird species to do so. Males establish a territory and court
females who enter it with flying and diving behaviors, and by showing
off their red throat plumage. Females provide all care for young
hummingbirds. They lay one to three eggs, incubate them for about two
weeks, and, after hatching, feed their young for about three weeks. A
female may have several broods in a year. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are
largely solitary outside of the breeding season.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds winter in Mexico and Central America. To
get there from their North American breeding grounds some birds embark
on a marathon, nonstop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. They may double
their weight in preparation for this grueling journey.
Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark
To view a caption from the photographer, click on the credit below. Photograph By Susan W., Your Shot
To view a caption from the photographer, click on the credit below. Photograph By Dianne R., Your Shot
To view a caption from the photographer, click on the credit below. Photograph By Enid W., Your Shot