The Ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) – Measuring in at 2.8-3.5 inches, and weighing only 0.1 to 0.2 oz, makes this a tiny wonder of North American backyard birds. They sport stunning golden-green feathers on their backs, and grayish white underparts. The male has an iridescent ruby red throat, which is looks dark depending on the lighting.
Hummingbirds have extraordinary flight control. They are able to come to a complete stop during flight, then proceed to move up, down, forwards, backwards, or remain at a hover. The smaller the hummingbird, the faster their wings flap. The Ruby-throated is of the smaller variety, and flutter their wings at a whopping 50 flaps per second! That’s right, per second! Their average flight speed is around 30 mph, with the ability to triple that during courtship displays. Their wing beats also increase during this time.
These micro birds have huge appetites! They are omnivorous and eat insects, with spiders being their favorites and also nectar from from flowers and from feeders. Would you like to feed hummingbirds? It’s easy! Use a 4:1 ratio of table sugar & water, dissolve the sugar in the water until it’s completely clear and let cool. That’s all you need to make hummingbird nectar. The 4:1 ratio is the standard recipe which closely resembles natural flower nectar. It is important to keep your feeders clean & sanitized, keep the nectar fresh, and pay attention to the outside temperatures to achieve this. If the nectar spoils, not only will the birds not want to visit you again, but it can also be deadly to these precious perchers. Sugar water can ferment/spoil faster in hotter and more humid climates, so extra care should be taken here. We have added a handy temperature guide along with the basic hummingbird recipe for your convenience!
Want to see hummingbirds? We have a regular visitor who graciously chose the feeder that is on camera at our Key Largo site. This little tiny loves to take a break and perch to eat. Come say hi!: https://pixcams.com/birdfeeder/KeyLargoFeederCam.htm
Clip of hummingbird visit: https://youtu.be/5IeLUGup49k