|Conservation status||Thought to have declined in some regions in recent years, but surveys show no distinct downward trend.|
|Habitat||Gardens, wood edges. Summers in a variety of semi-open habitats, including open woods, clearings and edges in forest, gardens, city parks. Winters mostly in rather open or dry tropical scrub, not usually in rain forest. Migrants may pause in any open habitat with flowers.|
At flowers, usually feeds while hovering, extending its bill and long tongue deep into the center of the flower. At feeders, may either hover or perch. To catch small insects, may fly out and take them in midair, or hover to pluck them from foliage. Sometimes takes spiders (or trapped insects) from spider webs.
2. White. Incubation is by female only, 11-16 days. Young: Female feeds the young. Nest stretches as young grow. Age of young at first flight about 20-22 days. Usually 1-2 broods per year, sometimes 3. Female may begin building second nest while still feeding young in the first.
Female feeds the young. Nest stretches as young grow. Age of young at first flight about 20-22 days. Usually 1-2 broods per year, sometimes 3. Female may begin building second nest while still feeding young in the first.
Mostly nectar and insects. Takes nectar from flowers, and will feed on tiny insects as well. Favors tubular flowers such as those of trumpet vine. Will also feed on sugar-water mixtures in hummingbird feeders.
In courtship display, male flies back and forth in front of female in wide U-shaped "pendulum" arc, making a whirring sound on each dive. Also buzzes back and forth in short passes in front of perched female. Nest site is in a tree or large shrub, 5-50 feet above the ground, usually 10-20 feet. Placed on horizontal branch or one that slopes down from tree, usually well surrounded by leafy cover. Nest (built by female) is a compact cup of grasses, plant fibers, spider webs, lined with plant down. The outside is camouflaged with lichens and dead leaves.
Illustration © David Allen Sibley.
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Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Almost all leave North America in fall, wintering from Mexico to Costa Rica or Panama. Some may cross Gulf of Mexico but many go around, concentrating along Texas coast. In spring, males move north earlier than females.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
See a fully interactive migration map for this species on the Bird Migration Explorer.Learn more
Songs and CallsMouse-like, twittering squeaks.
Learn more about this sound collection.
How Climate Change Will Reshape the Range of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect this bird’s range in the future.
Zoom in to see how this species’s current range will shift, expand, and contract under increased global temperatures.
Climate threats facing the Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.