Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only breeding hummingbird in eastern North America. It is found in the Eastern half of the United States, down to Central America where it spends winters every year. The bird is an iridescent emerald green on its back with pale grey-white undersides. The males have a ruby red patch on their throats (hence the name). It is only 3-3.5 inches long and, at most, weighs approximately 0.2 ounces. Because it’s legs are so short, the hummingbird cannot walk or hop.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is great fun to watch in flight as it can travel forward at high speeds, stop on a dime and change directions, going backwards, up, down, and side to side, as they beat their wings 53 times a second. They are found in open areas such as the edges of forests, meadows, and backyards where they can find a source of food. Hummingbirds are nectar feeders mostly, using their long bills to suck nectar from red or orange flowers or from the bird feeders many people place in their back yards. They are also known to eat insects as well.