With a length of only three inches from tip of the bill to tip of the tail, the ruby-throated hummingbird is the smallest of our Minnesota birds. Its plumage is metallic green above and white below. Only the adult males have the iridescent ruby-red throat.

Most of the 300-plus hummingbird species live in the American tropics. Of the more than 20 hummingbird species in North America, only the ruby-throat is regularly found in the eastern half. Its breeding range extends into the lower parts of southern and central Canada and includes all of the eastern states south to Florida and Texas. The ruby-throat is a strong flyer for its small size, traveling considerable distances over land and water, even crossing the Gulf of Mexico to reach its wintering grounds.