The Ruby-throated hummingbird is from 7 to 9 cm (2.8 to 3.5 in) long and has a 8 to 11 cm (3.1 to 4.3 in) wingspan. Their body mass can range from 2 to 6 g. Adults are metallic green above and greyish white below, with near-black wings. Their bill, at up to 2 cm (0.79 in), is long, straight and very slender. The females are slightly larger than the males. The adult male has a ruby red colored throat patch, bordered with velvety black on the upper margin and a forked black tail with a faint violet sheen. The female has a notched tail with outer feathers banded in green, black, and white and a whitish throat.

Habitat and Distribution

The breeding habitat is throughout most of eastern North America and the Canadian prairies, in deciduous and pine forests and forest edges, orchards, and gardens. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is migratory, spending most of the winter in southern Mexico and Central America, as far south as extreme western Panama, and the West Indies.


The birds feed from flowers using a long extendendable tongue to access nectar, and catch insects on the wing or glean them from flowers, leaves, bark, and spiders' webs.


These birds build a nest on a small, downward sloping tree limb at 3,1 to 21,2m above the ground. The nest is composed of bud scales, with lichen on the exterior, bound with spider's silk, and lined with plant fibers. Females lay two white eggs, and they incubate for 12 to 14 days.

Calls and Songs

The vocalizations of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are rapid, squeaky chirps, and are used primarily for threats.