Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
(Archilochus colubris)

Order:  Caprimulgiformes
Family:  Trochilidae

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Photo © NNE & its licensors

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Information

Length:  3 - 3.75"

Breeding Habitat:  Forest edges; coniferous, deciduous, or mixed woodlands (prefers deciduous); gardens and parks. The proximity of nectar plants is a habitat requirement.

Males favor edge habitats and gardens. The mated female seeks out a more protected habitat for nesting.

Diet:  Flower nectar, especially from brightly-colored tubular flowers; small insects and spiders; tree sap from sap wells drilled by the yellow-bellied sapsucker.

  Calls of Ruby-throated Hummingbird

    Photo of Ruby-throated Hummingbird at nest

Additional Information

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Description, range, habitat, songs and calls, identification tips, and behavior. Includes photos, illustration with field marks, and range map. (From

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

© NNE & its licensors

Invite Hummingbirds into Your Backyard

Attract the Ruby-throated Hummingbird by growing these wildflowers native to New England:

  • Scarlet Beebalm (Monarda didyma)
  • Cardinal Flower ( Lobelia cardinalis)
  • Bluebell Bellflower (Campanula rotundifolia)
    Note: This plant doesn't flower until the second year.
  • Canada Lily (Lilium canadense)
  • Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
    Note: This flower spreads easily by underground shoots, so it is best to contain it with deep edging or by planting in a pot.
Helpful Gardening Supplies:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Identification Tips

  • Long, straight, thin bill
  • Small hummingbird
  • Bright green back and crown
  • White underparts with greenish flanks
Adult male
  • Iridescent scarlet gorget
  • Black face and chin
  • Entirely dark forked tail
  • White chin and throat with variable amounts of thin dark streaking
  • Dark, shallowly-forked tail with white tips on outer tail feathers

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Range in New England

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird breeds throughout New England.

Most of these birds migrate to Mexico and Central America in the fall. Some spend the winter along the U.S. Gulf Coast, south Altlantic coast and southern Florida.

Winter Map from eBird

Sightings of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird Nov-Mar over last 10 years

Christmas Bird Count Map
Historical CBC Map from USGS