Bird Sounds: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Calls

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

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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.


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

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

Hummingbirds in Winter

Yes, there have been many documented sightings of hummingbirds surviving snowy winters–they are tougher than people realize! As for honey, it’s not recommended because when diluted with water it can become a breeding ground for bacteria.

Hummers & Feeders

I moved last year from a rural area where I had outdoor vines and plants that attract Hummers to closer in town where there is no outdoor blooming plants of any kind. However I put out my feeder but after a week saw nothing but ants coming to the feeder so I didn't refill it. My neighbor behind me put out a feeder about 2 weeks ago, then a week ago I saw a Hummer hovering at the empty feeder on my porch! I felt like a heel because the feeder was empty, so I quickly made nectar, washed the feeder, and refilled it. I've enjoyed seeing the Hummer feed at my porch every 10 - 15 minutes all day long ever since!

i'm from the North Central

i'm from the North Central Arkansas it is 9/1/2015. I have at least 8 hummingbirds in our yard, eating at 3 feeders and live plants. There are 2 male red throat (Kings of one feeder) they play King of the Feeder all day long.....and chase any female off as soon as they lite by their feeder. They are so lovely to watch. If I should wear a colored/flower blouse, they dive at me..they should know by now I'm just another blooming idiot that loves Hummers.

We put up a hummingbird

We put up a hummingbird feeder outside our front door. I believe there are three that are sharing the feeder at different times (never together). Two fly off if they see me sitting there, but one will hover about a yard in front of me and a half a foot up, flitting back and forth, chirping away if I'm sitting there. I don't know whether it's saying hello or go away, but it sure is amusing. I think these three also share the Larkspur and the Columbine in the back yard. Oswego, IL

I have a pair here,they have

I have a pair here,they have a feeder each,love watching them. Rimouski,Quebec,Canada

I am in north Omaha NE, I

I am in north Omaha NE, I have 1 male and 1 female that I know of living in the tree beside my upper deck.

I have put out a humming bird

I have put out a humming bird feeder about a week ago but as of now I don't have any birds to come to feed yet. How long does it take form them to begain to feed on them after you put the feeder out?

Hi, Katie: Depending on where

Hi, Katie: Depending on where you are, it may still be a little too cold for hummingbirds to return. If you are in a permanently warmer area, sometimes it just takes a while for them to discover a new feeder. Just be patient. They will. Thanks for asking!

Have several ruby-red neck

Have several ruby-red neck hummingbirds in our backyard (Anderson, SC). One eats
from all the flowers on the feeder and one only eats from only the back of the feeder There is a larger hummingbird that seems to guard the smaller ones but this one has not perched on our deck as of yet. It looks like a light brown or tan.

We have several hummingbird

We have several hummingbird feeders and have numerous hummingbirds around from very early spring until late in the year. A few years back, we had a nest just on a limb just above one of our water faucets. I had my husband park his pickup close to the faucet one and sat on top of it with my camera. I took pictures of the nest with the two tiny eggs in it. Later I sat up there for over 2hrs and finally got a photograph of the mother feeding those tiny birds. I've got to find that photo and get it posted on my blog. When I do, I'll come back and give the link. We live in northeastern Oklahoma

I'm living in Sorel Quebec,

I'm living in Sorel Quebec, Canada, I have about 5 or 6 of them each years coming to my half a dozen feeders, I have a cottage by the Richelieu River, with plenty of flowers and plants for them and also for the butherflies. I don't know if it is always the same one returning each year? They usually leave around August the 28 of each year depending on the climate!

I have lots of these that I

I have lots of these that I feed on a regular basis in the summer...
one day I found one laying on the patio floor & thought it was I picked it up, it came back to life so I kept it for about 2 or 3 hours then turned it loose.

I have 5 hummingbirds in my

I have 5 hummingbirds in my front yard at my feeder since the beginning of September. I have a male with a dark dark red throat, one with a bright red throat, one male with 3 red dots on his throat, and 2 females. I love to watch them its relaxing. I'm in N.W. Florida.

One time, My family got a

One time, My family got a humming bird trapped in my garage! I had to get sugar and mix it with water and it pretty much did the trick. But,I thought the whole experience was funny because I never saw a humming bird get trapped some where before!

We used to have a lot of

We used to have a lot of hummingbirds in the forest of East Texas, but since we have moved south closer to the bay area, we have not seen as many. I remember seeing a lot of hummingbirds on a vacation near Ava, Missouri several years ago.

We observed at least ten

We observed at least ten Hummingbirds at our feeders this season here in rural Dobson, North Carolina. I just noticed this page on the web today! Seems to me like the last day we observed Red-throated (and some other hummers) was about September 10, 2010. Our neighbor had about 20 that came to her feeders. Seems as if they left a couple of weeks early this year.

We still have a female Ruby

We still have a female Ruby that has a death wish. She has been chasing Cardinals from under the bird feeder (no where near her water). Goes after the bees and Goldfinch on the Butterfly bush. She even was on the ground and almost ended up a snack for one of our dachshunds. She was down in the grass, from the window I thought it was a large green bug as all I could see was her back. She flew up just as one was about to grab her.

They must be the Hummers from

They must be the Hummers from up north. Here in southeast Illinois the Males went south the 14th of Sep. (A full month earlier than last year.) It has me wondering about what kind of winter is in store for us. I have 2 females feeding on my feeder now. The last female left here last year on the 28th of Oct.