What is the most common hummingbird in Minnesota?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

The most common hummingbird species in Minnesota is the Ruby-throated hummingbird. These vibrant little birds can be found throughout the state during the spring and summer months. As an expert in hummingbirds, I have had the pleasure of observing and studying these fascinating creatures in Minnesota.

What sets the Ruby-throated hummingbird apart from other species is its distinctive ruby-red throat patch, or gorget, which is prominently displayed by males during courtship displays. Females, on the other hand, have a white throat and lack the vibrant coloring of the males. This sexual dimorphism is a common characteristic among hummingbird species.

One of the reasons why Ruby-throated hummingbirds are so prevalent in Minnesota is their migratory patterns. These tiny birds undertake an impressive journey, traveling from their wintering grounds in Central America and Mexico to as far as the eastern United States and Canada. They usually arrive in Minnesota around late April or early May, just in time for the blooming of flowers and the abundance of nectar.

During their time in Minnesota, Ruby-throated hummingbirds can be found in a variety of habitats, including gardens, woodlands, and even urban areas. They are attracted to areas with a good supply of nectar-rich flowers, as well as feeders filled with sugar water. These feeders are a great way to attract and observe hummingbirds up close, providing a valuable opportunity for researchers and bird enthusiasts to study their behavior.

In my personal experiences, I have witnessed the Ruby-throated hummingbirds’ agility and remarkable flight capabilities. These birds are capable of hovering in mid-air, flying backward, and even hovering upside down. It is truly a marvel to watch them dart from flower to flower, their wings beating at an incredible rate of up to 53 times per second.

While the Ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common species in Minnesota, it is worth noting that other hummingbird species have been observed in the state as well, albeit less frequently. These include the Rufous hummingbird, which is known for its vibrant orange coloration, and the occasional Anna’s hummingbird, which typically resides on the west coast but occasionally ventures into Minnesota.

The Ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common hummingbird species in Minnesota. Their vibrant colors, unique migratory patterns, and ability to thrive in a variety of habitats make them a beloved sight for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts throughout the state.