Although Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) does not sing as elegantly as a Wood Thrush or Northern Mockingbird, they still make distinctive chitters and can even mew like a cat. The "humming" that gives the hummingbird its name isn't a vocalization at all, but is created by rapidly flapping wings as it hovers at a feeder, zips past on the way to yet another flower, or swoops down dramatically at high speeds in the male's aerobatic courtship flight. These sounds might not qualify as music, but the amazing activities of a hummingbird could easily inspire a song-writer to put together a melody and lyrics to describe the hummingbird or how it affects the observer.

We hope you'll want to share your original hummingbird songs through publication on Operation RubyThroat. If so, contact PROJECTS.

In the meantime, here are some ideas for teachers, students, and other individuals to try.

Teachers and their student groups, individual students, and others who are registered participants with Operation RubyThroat get priority attention to all requests for information and assistance. To register, see How to Participate.

MUSIC ACTIVITY #1: Hummingbird Musical Adaptations

Ask students to take a well-known song for which everyone knows the tune ("Old MacDonald," etc.) and write a new set of lyrics that explain some aspect of the life of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). There are literally hundreds of interesting--and amazing--facts about hummingbirds within the pages of the Operation RubyThroat website, so students should have no trouble finding material to incorporate into their lyrics.)

ACADEMIC DISCIPLINES: Music, creative writing--plus hummingbird science.


NOTE: Please send descriptions and results from your successful music-related cross-disciplinary activities to Operation RubyThroat via PROJECTS.

Back to Cross-disciplinary Activities

Go to Activities in Art or Geography or Drama or Math or Writing

Up to Top of Page

If you found this information useful or interesting, please

Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History
Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project
It's painless, and YOU can make a difference!

Just CLICK on a logo below.

Make direct donations on-line through
Network for Good:
Donate a portion of your purchase price from 500+ top on-line stores via iGive:
Use your PayPal account
to make direct donations:

Share Your Hummingbird Experiences Through "Hummingbird Hobnob"

Search Engine

Operation RubyThroat is a registered trademark of Bill Hilton Jr. and Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History in York, South Carolina USA, phone (803) 684-5852. Contents of the overall project and this website--including photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of the author. To obtain permission or for further assistance on accessing this website, contact Webmaster.