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  Ruby-throated Hummingbird  
  (Archilochus colubris)  

ruby-throated hummingbird.jpg


Although Central and South America are home to hundreds of species of hummingbirds, only one species, the Ruby-throated, nests in Quebec. This is the smallest birds species in Quebec, weighing only 3 g. Their unusually small size causes them to require relatively large amounts of high energy food. Nectar from flowers provides an ideal food source: the problem is that the suitable plants don't flower until July. Consequently, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird consumes tree sap during early summer. This food source would not be available were it not for a species of woodpecker, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, whose endless hole-drilling releases the tree sap required by the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. In fact, the geographic range of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird in Quebec is probably dependent upon where the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is found. Although it's hard to imagine, the tiny Ruby-throated Hummingbird makes an annual migration to its wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America. What's even more impressive is that this bird must make a 700 km, non-stop flight across the Gulf of Mexico! To make it across, this bird stores up its own weight in fat reserves

  Distribution of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird in Quebec:  
  distribution map.jpg  


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