(range map)

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) are Neotropical migrant insect- and nectar-eaters that breed from Florida to Maine; westward across the Great Plains to foothills of the Rockies; from south Texas north to southern Canada; and northwest into Alberta.

RTHU overwinter rarely in south Florida and on the Gulf Coast, migrating primarily to central Mexico and south to northern Panama. There are a very few winter records from Cuba, Hispaniola, Bahamas, Bermuda, and southeastern U.S. coastal areas. (If you see a Tarzan movie that takes place in Africa and you see a hummingbird hovering in the background, the film was probably shot on a studio lot in Hollywood, California!)

Little is known about autumn migrational routes. Some migrant RTHU apparently fly from Florida to the Yucatan; however, many RTHU gather in Louisiana or Texas in mid-September before flying across the Gulf, and some may take an overland route through Mexico. Even less is known about spring migrational paths.

In summary, RTHU are common in most of the eastern U.S. and southern Canada during the summer breeding season. In winter, their distribution changes, as follows:

Click on the range map below for a higher resolution image.

38 U.S. states in which the Ruby-throated Hummingbird regularly breeds:
Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin; eastern portions of Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas; and a small strip of northern Montana.

7 Canadian provinces in which the Ruby-throated Hummingbird regularly breeds:
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia; and southernmost Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.

© Operation RubyThroat

9 countries in which the Ruby-throated Hummingbird regularly spends the winter (October-March):
Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, central and southern Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and the United States (southern Florida and the Texas Gulf Coast, with a few scattered birds in other Atlantic and Gulf Coast states).

NOTE: There have been scattered breeding and/or winter records for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) outside the areas highlighted on the range map. Any such extralimital sightings should be reported to the appropriate local or state ornithology groups or to Operation RubyThroat in an e-mail to: WEBMASTER.

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Operation RubyThroat is a registered trademark of Bill Hilton Jr. and Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History in York, South Carolina USA, phone (803) 684-5852. Contents of the overall project and this website--including photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of the author. To obtain permission or for further assistance on accessing this website, contact Webmaster.