Plate 7: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Archilochus colubris

Nests & Eggs: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

These beautiful creatures that glitter like jewels are in a family by themselves because they are unique!

This, the smallest bird found in the area, can be confused only with large moths such as the sphinx or hawk moths. Both the moths and hummingbirds like to feed on deep-throated flowers such as honeysuckles, petunias and trumpet-vines but the moths prefer late evening or early morning while the hummer never passes up a chance to explore such flowers with his long brush-like tongue with which he gathers nectar. This combined with small insects and spiders goes to make up his diet. Brightly colored phials filled with sugar water will attract him to your yard.

Hummingbirds are among the best fliers of the bird world and can hover, fly backward or forward or straight away, whatever meets their fancy. The male has a green back and in some lights the throat patch looks black only to flash ruby red when the bird changes position so the light is reflected. The female is duller and has white feather tips on the tail.

The female builds one of the daintiest of nests on top of some sloping branch, using lichens and spider web to attach the cup to the limb. This little nest which is only 1½ inches in diameter is not often found for it has the appearance of being only a part of the branch. Two young constitute the usual family.

Introduction to Our Bird Friends, Vol I
Additional Resources

30 Narration Ideas
At some point you might appreciate some variety.

The Bird Study sections of our free nature study series: Our Wonderful World:

Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World
Printables & Notebooking Pages

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Notebooking Pages
Free simple notebooking set.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Bird picture for notebook.

Hummer the Hummingbird
Corresponding print from The Burgess Bird Book.

Fifty Favorite Birds Coloring Book

Fifty Favorite Birds Coloring Book
Dover Nature Coloring Book based on Fifty Birds of Town and City by Bob Hines. Includes the ruby-throated hummingbird.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Range Map
For notebook from Cornell.

Bird Facts Notebooking Page
One option in a more graphic organizer style that is especially nice for noting the facts and range.

Enjoy the complete series:

Don’t Miss a Thing!

Subscribe to receive updates and additions.

Learn to Write. Write.:

Write Something Every Day

Tools for the Homeschool Handy-Mom

At DIY Homeschooler we provide encouragement and resources to those homeschool handy-moms paving their own way — solutions to help you “do-it-yourself” when it comes to tutoring your children. Learn more.

The Latest

Affiliate Disclosure

Throughout this site you will find affiliate links to items that we trust and enthusiastically recommend. If you decide to use these links to make a purchase, we do receive a small compensation that helps support this site. Thank you! Read our full affiliate disclosure to learn more.

Keep Reading

Create a website or blog at