Bird Sounds: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Calls

April 17, 2017
Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Listen to the bird sounds of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. What may sound like a bee is the hum of a tiny bird beating its wings about 53 times a second!

(Bird sound compliments of The Macaulay Library at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.)

The Ruby-throated hummingbird migrates every spring the North America, traveling amazing distances from their winter homes in Central America and Mexico. They may travel as far north as eastern Canada. Wondering when the hummingbirds will arrive in your area? See this cool map on hummingbird migration.

These jewel-colored birds prefer to feed on red or orange flowers (though it’s not necessary to color the sugar water you put in a hummingbird feeder). See how to attract the ruby-throated hummingbird.

Have you heard a Ruby-throated Hummingbird? Add your comments below. Be sure to let us know where you live or where you’ve heard this bird sound before!

Click here to listen to the sounds of other birds!

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Hummingbirds in south central Kansas

I read the post and editorial comment regarding hummingbirds in north eastern Oklahoma and considered it appropriate for us, as well.
I’m watching the Cardinals and the Hummingbirds this morning. I’m easily entertained.
I’m still learning and I don’t know how to tell the difference between male and female hummingbirds. I will certainly continue watching and learning.

I hear this sound !

I live in central New Jersey. First time I've heard this churping sound from hummingbird I was so surprised ! I grow several varieties of huneysuckle vines , most of them with red and orange flowers and two different hummers visit the vines : ruby throat hummers and the other ones that I am not sure of what they called. So if I sit quetly on my deck 5- 6 feet away from the vine -- I can hear hummingbird making that churp-churp sound ! I think it is the one without the red spot in the throat that makes this call, but I am not too sure.


I live in New Smyrna Beach FL and we have them year round here but more during the winter months. We just love watching them.


I live in Huntington Beach, CA. I have been watching hummingbirds for several years. Last week I was surprised when I saw 2 birds buzzing round and round each other. One landed on the tip of a bird of paradise leaf with his or her beak pointed upward. The other hummingbird flew back and forth then they touched beaks. This went on for a couple of hours. Simply loved watching them.


Hi Margie. I just read your comment on hummingbirds eating out of your hands. What a thrill! How did you manage that?


I have them in my backyard here in the upstate New York. I have patiently waited for four weeks and finally one is eating from my hand!!! His name is Tiny Tim ❤️

ruby throated male

spotted may 4th connellsville pa

Hummingbird Sightings

We live in Lebanon, Illinois. We've had one hummingbird arrive so far. He's been around about 2 weeks now. We've had a very late spring, pretty chilly still compared to normal.

Hummers in Alabama

3 males have shown up so far. Last year, everyone was late in arriving. We didn't have a sighting until the last week of May. Then we had about 8 females and 4 males visiting our 8 feeders. We put them out the first week of April as that is the earliest we have ever had "passers thru" make a pit stop.

Hummers and Downey Woodpeckers

I'm in Jacksonville, FL and the hummer feeders go out about March 10. Imagine my surprise when I looked up from the garden bed and saw a pair of Downey Woodpeckers hanging on the hummer feeder having a good drink! The male has been back for several days - I think he has a sweet tooth, er beak LOL

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

I live in Lakewood, CA and hear them all day long. I have a feeder attached to my window with suction cups and it has a perch for them. There are 4 of them that fight for the feeder and they are very vocal about it! I have to fill it every other day. I love Hummers❤


I live in ZONE 6 Palmerton, Pennsylvania. I love my Humming birds that come back every year. Most of the hummers that are here, chatter. I have a Humming bird that sits in my 5 year old Locus Tree. He watches me as I talk and sing to him, while on my deck. He will sit there for 30 min. to an hour, looking and listening, stretching his wings and preening his feathers. The tree is pretty close to my deck. Some times I just open the door and he watches me from the tree while I'm in my house!!! I believe he is a young one. He looks black with a cream ring around his neck and has a light brown or tan breast. I love him and will miss him when he heads South, which will be about the second week in September.

Hummers decline in our area this year

Usually I put out at least 6 feeders spread throughout our back yard deck area, attracting swarms of hummingbirds. We live on Grand Lake of the Cherokees in NE Oklahoma where we've experienced heavy storms & flooding, & cooler temps this spring. We've only attracted 2 or 3 hummingbirds at a time, and a couple of oriels have shown up. What's happened to our Hummers? By now we should have at least 30 or more.


The Editors's picture

Looking at a 2019 hummingbird migration map (you can find these through an online search), it looks like there were just a few sightings of the ruby-throated hummingbird reported in your area, although they have migrated into northern states now. Normally, sources suggest, this species appears around mid-April in your area, with the males appearing about 2 or so weeks earlier than the females. Perhaps the storms have delayed migration to your area, or re-routed their path? Has the cooler temperatures and storms affected flowering/vegetation in your yard? Hummingbirds may be looking for flowers (nectar sources) that they like, in addition to the feeders that you put out. If those flowers are damaged or their bloom time delayed, that might possibly affect how many appear in your yard. Same goes for the insects that they feed upon. Nesting site availability might also affect where hummers go each year. Males can also be territorial, chasing out others on their turf. Maintaining the sugar water in the feeders is also important, but it sounds like you are experienced in keeping the food fresh and feeder clean. To attract more birds, you might keep up with the feeders and add additional flowers that hummingbirds enjoy. With this and a recovering insect population (if that was a cause), it is likely that more hummers will come in the following weeks. Good luck!

humming birds in north east tennessee

I live in North East Tennessee in the Appalachian Mountains. I put out at least 5 feeder every year, we usually have about 30 humming birds feeding out of them by the time summer hits. I could go broke feeding them LOL. I love seeing them, they use my front deck as a race track. They can empty a feeder over night no problem. They are beautiful little birds, so glad God has blessed us with their presents.


I put up hummingbird feeders in my front yard because I have a porch where I sit to view these little jewels. I have never heard their song, but I know when one is near by the sound of its wings.

re: When do I put my feeders up?

I live in Central Louisiana, when should I put my hummingbird feeders up?


hummingbird feeders

I live in the Texas hill country, about 90 miles N.E. of Austin; I started my feeders two weeks ago, March 19.

Ruby throated hummingbird

I live in Houston, Tx. and have put out a hummingbird feeder out for the past 3 yrs. I've always seen the brown or green colored hummingbirds. But today to my excitement, I saw ruby throated hummingbird! It (they) are beautiful!! I just wish that they would build a next under my carport. They usually feed and then fly up to the tree. The birds come down many times during the day. How can you tell if they are male or female? I really enjoy them.


The Editors's picture

Only the males have a ruby throat, which is the easiest way to tell them from the females, which are more of a drab green with a white belly.

Raised Orphan Male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

I raised a male baby Ruby-Throated Hummingbird that was trapped in a four-story courtyard where I worked. (Guess his mom thought it would be a safe place!) I got to watch him learn to fly (which was fascinating!) and I got to hear him sing (not chirp) to a parakeet he had a crush on! His song was very high, very sweet, and very melodic. Really beautiful! He was slowly introduced back into the wild when he was old enough. :)


Saw first hummer at a new feeder just put out in marquette mi...could be rufus or female ruby didnt get close look ran to get camera poof it was gone... hopefully to tell its friends!

Hummingbird sighting

I saw my first female hummingbird this Saturday June 2 here in Philadelphia, Pa

Yellow colored hummingbirds

What state has yellow colored hummingbirds and what are they called.

Return of the Hummingbird.

I live in Ohio and they always return. I usually have 3 feeders out and they will hit everyone. Not only do they like petunias they also love mandevilla plants and Angel trumpets. They are so neat to watch. I do notice they get territorial and will emit a high chirp when chasing the others off. Mimosa trees also attract them. The flowers are not tubular so I don't know why they are attracted to it but the flowers are real fragrant. Can always see them around the mimosa tree pretty much of the day.


I live in Zone 7 in Chesapeake, VA and I have 4 feeders. I have the pleasure of seeing Hummingbirds daily. The males seem to be very territorial over certain feeders and running off all intruders. I notice that the feed very early in the morning and at dusk. I absolutely love hummingbirds.

Hummingbird visits

I live in Langley, BC Canada and I have frequent visits to my hummingbird feeder on my 3rd floor deck. I placed it next to an orange honeysuckle plant and have a variety of other bright coloured flowers around to attract these beautiful creatures.


I live in New York City in a very urban setting. I have only potted plants in my concrete garden on a nice wooden deck. I had a hummingbird feeder out all last summer and got a plants that I thought would attract them with their red flowers. I am trying again this spring hoping to attract them when they migrate north again. Is there anything else I can do to attract them to my garden deck? Thank you for any help you can provide.

Attracting Hummingbirds

The Editors's picture

Hi Patricia,

You are on the right track! To make sure you’ve got flowers that really attract hummingbirds, check the list here:

To further increase your chances, hang a few feeders at varying heights between 3 to 5 feet. It can take a while for hummingbirds to notice feeders, so the best course of action is to leave them out, cleaning and refilling the nectar regularly (to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria). Lastly, you won’t see hummingbirds in your area until early May.  Follow their migration progress on the map at the bottom of the page here:

Good luck!

Hummingbirds Year Round

I live in Washington State, and have 4 humming birds that I and my neighbor are feeding. She plants flower baskets that attract them during the summer months. They live in my plum trees in the front yard.

I am perplexed as to how they survive the winter. This year (the end of 2016) has been hitting freezing temperatures which is uncommon in Western Washington (South of Olympia).

What is the coldest weather they can tolerate?

Can you make the syrup out of honey instead of sugar?

Thanks :D