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Hummingbirds of North America
|Ruby-throated Hummingbird - midwest and east coast hummingbird. Adults are metallic green above and greyish white below. Their bill is long, straight and very slender. The adult male, shown in the photo, has a glossy ruby red throat patch and a dark forked tail. The female has a dark rounded tail with white tips and no throat patch, though she may sometimes show light spotting on her throat.
The breeding habitat is open areas throughout most of eastern North America and the Canadian prairies. The female builds a nest in a protected location in a shrub or tree. Both males and females of any age aggressively defend feeding locations within his or her territory. The aggressiveness becomes most pronounced in late summer to early fall as they fatten up for migration.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is migratory, spending most of the winter in Mexico or Central America.
These birds feed on nectar from flowers and flowering trees using a long extendable tongue or catch insects on the wing.
Due to their small size, they are vulnerable to insect-eating birds and animals. These birds require frequent feeding while active during the day and sometimes become torpid at night to conserve energy. This is the only hummingbird commonly found in eastern North America.
Females lay two white eggs averaging 12.9 by 8.5 mm.
Photo © Mark S. Szantyr
|Anna's Hummingbird - west coast only.
These birds are glossy green on the back and grey below with green flanks. Their bill is long, straight and slender. The adult male has a glossy red crown and throat and a dark tail. Females and juveniles have a green crown, a grey throat with some red marking and a dark tail with white tips.
Photo © John Malloy
|Rufous Hummingbird - western states.
The adult male, shown in the photo, has a white breast, rufous face, upperparts, flanks and tail and an iridescent orange-red throat patch (gorget). Some males have some green on back and/or crown. The female has green upperparts, white underparts, some iridescent orange feathers in the center of the throat, and a dark tail with white tips and rufous base. Females and the rare green-backed males are extremely difficult to differentiate from Allen's Hummingbird.
They are migratory, many of them migrating through the Rocky Mountains and nearby lowlands in July and August to take advantage of the wildflower season there. They may stay in one spot for considerable time, in which case the migrants, like breeding birds, often aggressively take over and defend feeding locations. Most winter in wooded areas in the Mexico state of Guerrero, traveling over 2,000 miles by an overland route from its nearest summer home--a prodigious journey for a bird weighing only three or four grams.
Photo © Chris Wormwell
|Calliope Hummingbird © Glenn Walbeck|
|Broad-tailed Hummingbird © Ryan O'Donnell|
|Lucifer Hummingbird © Michael Woodruff|
|Black-chinned Hummingbird © Tim Avery|
|Violet-crowned Hummingbird © James P. Smith|
|Buff-bellied Hummingbird © Michael Todd|
|Magnificent Hummingbird © Chris Charlesworth|
|Blue-throated Hummingbird © Dan Jones|
|Green-breasted Mango © Julian Hough|
|Green Violet-ear © Mark Dennis|
|Plain-capped Starthroat © John Pushock|
|Broad-billed Hummingbird - Arizona. Note red base to bill.
Photo © Andrew Spencer