Paynes Prairie: Hummingbird

A male Ruby-Throated HummingbirdThe Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is not very common on Paynes Prairie. However, the prairie is extremely important for these tiny, rare birds because it is one of few breeding grounds. This bird insists on migrating south to mate. They have one of the longest migration routes of any hummingbird, lasting up to 500 miles at times.

This bird, the male, can be identified by its black face and beak and red throat. It is about 2 inches long and has a curved beak that is designed perfectly for the flowers from which it sucks nectar.

This bird feeds on over 30 types of nectar and flowers. They also feed on small insects such as bees, flies and spiders.

If you are patient you can catch a glimpse of this tiny creature during the winter when they migrate south. Otherwise, they are rare on the prairie. However, they still rely on it for a breeding ground.

Check out this bird's call (click on listen to this species on this page).

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