Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Archilochus colubris

Name root – Archilochus, arch meaning “chief” and lochos meaning “a body of people”; colubris meaning “a serpent” was most likely misspelled by Linnaeus and should have been colibre meaning “hummingbird”.

Distribution – Breeds from west-central Canada in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba east to Ontario, Quebec, New Burnswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland south along the east coast of the U. S. to southern Florida west and south to areas east of the Rocky Mountains to east and south Texas.  Winters on the Pacific slope of Mexico from southern Sinaloa south and on the Caribbean slope from southern Veracruz and the Yucutan south to western Panama.  Rare to uncommon in winter in the central Gulf Coast states of the U. S.

Texas – Common to abundant migrant and breeding species (March though October) in the eastern one-third of the State.  Rare as a breeder west of the Balcones Escarpment.  Common to rare migrant through portions of the Panhandle, Permain Basin, Hill Country and middle Rio Grande plains.  Accidental in spring in the Trans-Pecos region; however, can be common at times in fall migration in the eastern one-half of the region.  In 2009, 101 birds were captured and banded in the Davis Mountains and Big Bend regions (10 August to 31 October) with 32 birds captured in a single day (4 September) in Terlingua Ranch.  First Texas record; obtained in the 19th century, unknown date and location.

Habitat – Deciduous and mixed forests, especially with open areas such as overgrown fields and meadows.  Urban areas and parks are a favorite haunt of this species as well.

Adult male Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the Christmas Mountains, 20 August 2009

Adult male Ruby-throated Hummingbird with head turned showing dark gorget

Adult male sunning and preening, 20 August 2009

Immature female Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the Christmas Mountains, 20 August 2009

Another male Ruby-throated Hummingbird from the Christmas Mountains

One final shot of the above bird

Adult female Ruby-throated Hummingbird in Fort Davis, 6 January 2007

Immature male Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the Christmas Mountains on August 31, 2010

Immature male Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the Christmas Mountains on September 14, 2010

Adult female Ruby-throated Hummingbird scratching in the Christmas Mountains on September 14, 2010

Adult female Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the Christmas Mountains on September 14, 2010

Adult female Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the Christmas Mountains on September 14, 2010

Adult female Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the Christmas Mountains on September 14, 2010

Adult male Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the Davis Mountains on September 9, 2009 (Maryann Eastman)

Another great pic from Maryann Eastman. Male Ruby-throat in the Davis Mountains on September 4, 2008.