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Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Archilochus colubris

Featured image credit: “Ruby-throated Hummingbird Male” by ksblack99 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

To hear songs, learn identification information, migratory patterns, and some fun facts, check out the Ruby-throated Hummingbird page offered by one of my favorite resources: the Cornell Lab of Ornithology »

So, let me tell you about the time I was the third wheel during a hummingbird courtship…

I was on my patio watering my jade plants during the summer. Suddenly I heard this super loud buzzing past my ear (having been bombarded by hummingbirds before in the garden I quickly realized what the sound was). I didn’t see the hummingbird fly away, however, and then saw that it had actually landed on an inside branch of the jade plant about 4 feet away from me.

As I was admiring it’s small fabulous stature, and then suddenly I hear ANOTHER hummingbird approaching, and it swoops down in an arch, the lowest point near where that (what I’m realizing is female) hummingbird is. I am frozen. I am also kind of in the way. The male hummingbird swoops down again, and as he comes up from the lowest point in the arch, and hovers high in the sky, the female hummingbird beats her wings and makes a little giddy sound! This goes on for another five or six times and each time after he swoops she responds with her shaking and giddy sound. I am still frozen, just taking it all in and freaking out inside. After one last swoop, the male flies off towards the trees, and she zips up and away and follows. SUCCESS!!

This also reminds me of the time I witnessed the turkey courtship… it’s definitely Wild Planet over here sometimes…

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