Ruby-throated hummingbird, life history, all about birds – cornell lab of ornithology
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird beats its wings about 53 times a second.
The extremely short legs of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird prevent it from walking or hopping. The best it can do is shuffle along a perch. Nevertheless, it scratches its head and neck by raising its foot up and over its wing.
Scientists place hummingbirds and swifts in the same taxonomic order, the Apodiformes. The name means «without feet,» which is certainly how these birds look most of the time.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds prefer to feed on red or orange flowers (though it’s not necessary to color the sugar water you put in a hummingbird feeder). Like many birds, hummingbirds have good color vision and can see into the ultraviolet spectrum, which humans can’t see.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds normally place their nest on a branch of a deciduous or coniferous tree; however, these birds are accustomed to human habitation and have been known to nest on loops of chain, wire, and extension cords.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are eastern North America’s only breeding hummingbird. But in terms of area, this species occupies the largest breeding range of any North American hummingbird.
Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds don’t stick around long. Pairs are together long enough for courtship and mating “ just a matter of days to weeks. Then he’s off on his own, and may begin migration by early August.
The oldest known Ruby-throated Hummingbird was a female, and at least 9 years, 1 month old when she was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in West Virginia.