Fast Fact: Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

The ruby-throated hummingbird is the smallest bird that lives in Illinois, and they are tiny in every way. They are only about 3½ inches long, with a wingspan of 3 inches to 4 inches, and they weigh just 0.1 ounces to 0.2 ounces. That’s less than a nickel weighs! Their nests are small, about the size of a thimble. And their eggs are smaller than a jelly bean.

A ruby-throated hummingbird. (Photo via Shutterstock)

Even though they are small, they have incredible flying skills. Their wings beat 53 times a second, and they can fly backwards and even upside down! Only male ruby-throated hummingbirds have their namesake red throats. The female birds have white throats.


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