All About Hummingbirds

Everyone gets excited when the weather turns to spring. They immediately feel that if it's sunny and 70 degrees Hummingbirds should soon be here. Unfortunately that's not true. Hummingbirds are a migratory species. On the east coast we only are visited by the Ruby-throat Hummingbird. The Ruby spends the winter in Central America and southern Mexico. They usually don't appear in our area until mid to late April. Keep in mind the first Hummingbirds you see may only be stopping by for a sip. Hummingbirds nest well into Canada and these first birds may just be passing through.

To see where your Hummingbirds are check out the Hummingbird migration map

  • The male Ruby has a red throat that may appear black given the direction of the sunlight and your view point. The female Ruby's throat is pale white. A juvenile (in the above photo) can be identified by the speckled throat. 

  • The male and the female Ruby can be quite aggressive towards each other. In fact the only get together for 'the act' and have nothing else to do with each other.

  • The female will build a nest and raise the young on her own.

  • Ruby's generally have one nest a year with two eggs in a clutch.

  • A Ruby's nest is made out of spider webs and lichen and is the size of a golf ball.

  • Ruby-throat Hummingbirds eat nectar from a variety of flowers. Mostly tubular flowers of every color imaginable. 

  • You can put out  nectar feeder to attract Hummingbirds. 

  • The nectar solution is one part sugar to four parts water. NO RED DYE!

  • Nectar feeders come in all shapes and sizes and should be colorful, easy to fill, and easy to clean.

  • In the spring you should change the nectar at least once a week. In the summer change it every 2-3 days. If it ever looks cloudy change it.

  • Hummingbirds are quite territorial and will chase each other off the feeders. To alleviate this it's advisable to place two feeders up out of view of each other.

  • Hummingbirds tend to disappear in our yards in May and June. This is thought to be because the female is nesting. The months of July, August and September are when you'll see lots of Hummingbirds.

Coming in for a landing.