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Ruby-throated hummers abound throughout Pennsylvania during the warm season


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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Pennsylvania boasts three species of the world's smallest bird. The foremost ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is the only native breeder here, commonly spotted at the feeders during the summer months. Other two types include rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus), an occasional visitor during the migration or in winter, and calliope hummingbird (Stellula calliope), which shows up rarely and only to the luckiest birdwatchers.

When do hummingbirds come to Pennsylvania

Ruby-throated hummers, known as the only species breeding east of the Mississippi River, usually arrive in the State of Independence in April. Males mark their feeding territories, then females catch up, ready for the mating season. These birds breed statewide, but one popular gathering spot is situated at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, near Philadelphia. Ruby-throats stay in Pennsylvania well through late September, when they start their long migration across the Gulf of Mexico to Central America. Some individuals depart later, with most being gone by early October.

When to put out hummingbird feeders in Pennsylvania

The best and easiest way to behold these fast winged jewels close up is by putting out hummingbird feeders in your backyard. It would be thoughtful of you to prepare some before the season is in full swing, so the last week of March is the right time to do it. The early comers will appreciate your hospitality. Note that you should use only white sugar and water, one to four. Please don't add red dyes, honey, or brown sugar, and remember to clean containers every week.

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