Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Archilochus colubris 

by Ashley Sult

 The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is in the Phylum Chordata, the Class Aves, the Order Apodiformes and the family Trochilidae.  The female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is about 15-25% larger than the male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.  The female body length is usually 90 millimeters while the male is around 70 millimeters.

 They live all over North America in the summer and then fly to Mexico or Central America for the winter months.  The amazing thing about the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is that when they migrate for the winter they don’t stop to rest.  Their trips usually last 20 hours and they usually travel 800 kilometers. 

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird eats nectar but cannot survive only on nectar.  They also eat tiny insects and pollen to balance out their diet. The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird needs to take in about 10 calories a day in order to survive.  They also help pollinate at least 31 different species of plants and flowers. 

 Most Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds live for one year.  If they live beyond one year their average lifespan is usually around three years.  The oldest documented Ruby-Throated lived to be nine years old.  There have been 50,000 Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds banded over the last 10 years to learn where they migrate and how they migrate.  By banding the hummingbirds, scientists found where they travel to and the d

Written spring 2004, as a service learning project for Dr. Gary Coté's Biology 102 class at Radford University.  Copyright Pathways for Radford.

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