Last Updated on December 23, 2021 by Griselda M.
So, what are the Ruby-throated hummingbird predators? Let’s look into this. Ruby-throated hummingbird is one of the most common hummingbird species in the United State. They can be found in almost all various parts or states in the United State.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are also known as the Red-throated hummingbirds as they are characterized by their red throat. They are popularly sighted all over the Eastern part of the United State and Canada.
Ruby-throated hummers may look averagely small and you begin to wonder if they can be noticed or bothered by any predators.
Given the fact that they are also very fast, one may think it may be difficult for most predators to even catch them. But should we really look at this through this angle? Does Ruby-throated even have predators that bother or hunt them? Let’s look into this.
Some Facts About Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Before we look into the predators of Ruby-throated hummingbirds, let’s look into some facts about them.
Ruby-throated hummers are the only familiar hummingbird species that breed as well as reside regularly in the eastern part of North America. They tend to have the largest breeding range in North America.
Ruby-throated hummers are one type of small hummingbird. They have their bills to be slender and slightly down-curved. Their wings are fairly short which usually doesn’t reach all the way to their tail when this bird is in its sitting position.
This bird can flap its wing as fast as 50 times per second. Hence, the bird can also give an approximate wing beat of 3,000 beats per minute.
Here are more facts on the Ruby-throated hummingbird:
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Scientific Name
The scientific name of the Red-throated hummers is Archilochus colubris. Their common name is Ruby-throated hummingbird but they can as well be described as the Red-throated hummers because of the appearance of their red throat.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Size
Ruby-throated hummingbird is a small type of bird. Their size can range from 7 to 9 cm (2.8 to 3.5 inches) long. Their wingspan can also range from 8 to 11 cm.
Additionally, the weight of Ruby-throated hummers is around 2 grams to 6 grams. The male can weigh around 3.4 grams and the female on the other hand can weigh around 3.8 grams.
The female Ruby-throated tends to weigh more than the male hummers because of their responsibility to carry eggs.
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird
The female Red-throated hummers are characterized by their round tail, bright greenback, and grayish-white breast. They also have a spot of orange in their throat feather.
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Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
The adult male of the Red-throated hummers has more vibrant colors compared to the females. They have their tail as a fork. They have this pointed outer feather pointed that is solid black. The males also have their throat as ruby.
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Predators
The Ruby-throated hummingbird definitely has predators just like every other hummingbird species. There have been different sightings of Ruby-throated hummers as well as other hummingbird species being preyed on or killed by predators.
Hummingbirds are generally inclined to face hazards because they are wildlife creatures. They can face various hazards from harsh weather, pesticides, including predators.
Here are some of the most common predators of Ruby-throated hummers as well as every other hummingbird species:
· Big birds
Bigger birds such as hawks, owls, crows, orioles, roadrunners, and so on have been documented to prey on hummingbirds.
While the chicks of hummingbirds are still in their nest, they stand a chance of becoming an easy prey to big birds predators. Even hummingbird eggs are an easy target to these big birds.
Both domestic and non-domestic cats have been known to prey on Ruby-throated hummingbirds. Cats that know hummingbirds tend to flock around feeders can activate their hunting nature and prey on hummingbirds.
Ensure your domestic cats are kept indoors. Also, put in extra measures to hang feeders several feet away from any fence or pole these cats can easily climb to pounce on hummingbirds as they feed.
Snakes are also included in the predators capable of hunting down Ruby-throated hummingbirds. This snake will coil inconspicuously, and wait for any vulnerable hummers to come close to its range and it will strike the bird.
Ensure you clear any thick bush in your area. Your feeder spot should also be clean and clear of any bush these snakes may hide.
· Praying Mantis
This may sound surprising because the praying mantis is an insect prey known to mostly feed or prey on other insects. However, this insect can get greedy and prey on hummingbirds. The large praying mantises are fully capable of catching and feeding on hummers.
Praying mantises are unexpected predators of hummingbirds. They can’t feed on the entire bird, but they tend to feed on the hummingbird’s brain, blood, and other organs. The rest of the bird’s parts such as bills, feathers, bones, and others are left or discarded by praying mantis.
Hummingbirds are more vulnerable to praying mantis whenever this insect predator sits on hummingbird feeders or flowers. This predator will wait patiently for any hummingbird that will come feed and attack.
Praying mantis possess spikes in their forearms and legs that enable them to grab and hold down their prey. Once they’ve held down their prey, they begin to devour it with their string and sharp jaws.
Praying mantises that are found on feeders are usually looking for other insects they can prey on. Therefore, it’s advisable to maintain a clean feeder to avoid any insect invasion on your feeders.
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Most hummingbirds are not so big and therefore may result in their vulnerability to different predators and even to unexpected predators.
So, we’ve seen that the Ruby-throated hummingbird is also vulnerable to predators just like every other wildlife creature is. The Ruby-throated hummingbird can be predisposed to predators such as snakes, big birds (such as owls, hawks, orioles, roadrunners, etc), cats, praying mantis, and so on.
Eunice is a passionate lover of hummingbirds and all things nature. She loves to observe and study the tiny birds, learning about their unique behaviors and unique features. She has written a number of articles about hummingbirds and their habitats, which have been featured in a variety of publications. In her spare time, she enjoys visiting hummingbird sanctuaries and going on bird–watching trips in her local area. She also volunteers with local wildlife rescue organizations, helping to rehabilitate injured birds. When she’s not outdoors, Eunice can be found writing articles, creating bird–inspired art, and playing the flute.