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Ruby-Throated
 
The Ruby-throated (Archilochus colubris) is the most widespread hummingbird in North America and the most common species that breeds in the East. For many years it was considered to be the only species that would breed in the East. Still, if you draw a line from Texas to Minnesota and you want to see a Ruby-throated your best chance will be to look to the East. To reach these nesting grounds each spring, most take a direct route across the Gulf of Mexico, flying nonstop over 500 miles of open water. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The males have an iridescent ruby-red throat and a black patch that extends from below the bill to behind and below the eye. DISTRIBUTION Breeds in eastern North America north to southern Quebec, west to south-central Alberta, the eastern edge of the Dakota's, Nebraska, south-eastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma and Texas, rarely in the southern tip of Florida. Winters mainly in the tropics from southern Veracruz west across lowlands to southern Sinaloa, to the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, Honduras, Western Nicaragua and western Costa Rica. Small number of birds winter along the Gulf Coast of the United States. Vagrants have been spotted in Colorado, California, New Mexico and even Alaska (That one must have really been lost)
 
Rufous
 
The Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) has a temperament to match its beautiful fiery color. Its very aggressive nature can make him unwelcome at feeders if you want other visitors as well. Maybe the Rufous's temperament correlates to the difficult nature of the travels they endure each year with the annual migration as they breed further north than any other hummingbird and travel incredible distances to do so. KEY CHARACTERISTICS The Rofous hummingbird is relatively small with a medium-short bill that is all black. The plumage is a beautiful rust color (rufous) and may be speckled with green. You will definitely know when you see one. DISTRIBUTION Breeds from extreme north-western California, most of Oregon and Washington, central and northern Idaho, western Montana, most of British Columbia, north to coastal southeast Alaska. The Rufous possibly should be nicknamed The Wanderer due to the fact that they are strongly prone to wandering during the fall migration. At this time they could appear almost anywhere in North America. Maybe they are just taking their time to return to their winter homes primarily in Mexico or occasionally along the U.S. Gulf Coast.