Overview: The Annual Cycle of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird
January February March April May June
July August September October November December

January: Basking in the Tropics
During January, the vast majority of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are on their wintering grounds in
Central America. Hummingbirds aren't the only feisty birds there, so they have to tone it down a bit. They are getting fresh new feathers and molting, but they still need to visit visit hundreds of flowers every day. Hummingbirds burn energy so fast they often eat 1.5 to 3 times their body weight in food per day. After hovering over a flower long enough to drink a nectar meal, they zip through the air, snatching tiny insects as they go.

Female Rubythroated Hummingbird

Image: Joan Garvey


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