7 Facts About Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds You Should Know

From super speed to a mega appetite, discover what makes ruby-throated hummingbirds such tiny marvels of nature.

Ruby-throated hummingbirdCourtesy Johnny Bliznak
A male ruby-throated hummingbird hovers near a flower.

Attracted to Color

Invite these teeny delights into your yard with flowers in their three favorite colors: red, orange and pink. Plant these red flowers to attract hummingbirds.

Fast Heartbeat

When ruby-throats are really exerting themselves, their hearts race around 1,200 beats per minute. In calmer times, that rate drops to 600 beats per minute. Humans, in comparison, have a resting heart rate of about 72.

Rapid Wing Speed

Zipping around in every direction (even backward), the nimble ruby-throated hummingbird beats its wings around 53 times per second. Follow these tips to take amazing hummingbird photos.

Large Population

Among the most common and successful hummingbirds, ruby-throats are found in summer across most of the eastern U.S. and east of the Rockies in southern Canada. Their population totals an estimated 34 million birds. Learn fascinating facts about hummingbird nests.

Ruby-throated hummingbird at feederCourtesy Sarah Moses
Hummingbird perching at a feeder.

Big Eaters

Ruby-throats can consume up to twice their body weight (which is less than a penny) in nectar, small insects and treesap every day. Here’s how to clean hummingbird feeders.

Fast Fliers

These little creatures fly about 25 miles per hour and zoom even faster when the wind pushes them along. Discover even more jaw-dropping facts about hummingbirds.

Long-Distance Migrants

Some ruby-throats fly nonstop 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico during migration. This is why you should keep your hummingbird feeders filled during fall.

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Emily Hannemann
Emily Hannemann is an associate digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in magazine writing from the University of Missouri - Columbia. When she’s not writing and editing, you’ll find her swimming, running, or hiking. She knows blue jays are controversial, but she loves them anyway.