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Bird Songs and Sounds
Bird calls and sounds can be a great way to identify if certain birds are nearby or what activities they may be up to. Click the icon to hear some audio clips of the ruby-throated hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Archilochus  colubris

Species Spotlight
The ruby-throated hummingbird is a migratory species of hummingbird that migrates from its southern winter habitat to parts of North America each spring. This is one of only three species that migrates to western PA. Though its primary source of food is flower nectar, providing a sugar water feeder for breeding hummingbirds can always help them in times of low flower blooms and high competition with other hummingbirds. All hummingbird feeders should only offer sugar water in the ratio of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water.  Visit the "Feeding" section to learn more about proper hummingbird feeding and feeder maintenance!


Frequents gardens and woodland edges. Spends summers in a variety of semi-open habitats, including open woods, clearings and edges of forest, gardens and city parks. Winters mostly in rather open or dry tropical scrub, not usually in rain forest. During migration they may pause in any open habitat with flowers.

Wild Feeding Behavior
Primarily consumes nectar hovering at flowers but will eat tiny insects. Feeds extending its bill and long tongue deep into the center of the flower. To catch 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.

Nesting Habits
Nests in trees or large shrubs, usually 10-20' above ground. Placed on horizontal branch or one that slopes down from tree, usually well surrounded by leafy cover. The nest is built by the female and is a compact cup of grasses, plant fibers or spider webs, lined with plant down. The outside is camouflaged with lichens and dead leaves.

Eggs and Young
Pairs have 1-2 broods a year, sometimes 3. Eggs are incubated by the female only for 11-16 days. The female feeds the hatchlings and the nest stretches as the young grow. Young fledge after about 20-22 days. The female may begin building a second nest while still feeding young in the first.

Spends winters in South America, may migrate across the gulf or around the coast of Mexico and Texas into North America. There, it breeds in the summer, from eastern Texas, north to southern Canada, east to Maine, and south to mid Florida.

Preferred Feeds
Sugar water.

Preferred Feeders
Nectar feeder.

Feed and Feeders
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All Seasons - Common

All Seasons - Uncommon

Breeding - Common

Breeding - Uncommon

Winter - Common

Winter - Uncommon

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