Selasphorus rufus

The Rufous Hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus, breeds in southern Alaska, the northwestern U.S. and western Canada, and typically winters in central Mexico. Nonetheless, it has been documented over the past century or so in the eastern U.S.--during fall and winter; in fact, its numbers in the East have increased dramatically since about 1990, and there are even a few summer records--including one in North Carolina.

More than five dozen Rufous have been banded in the Carolinas through Operation RubyThroat, and two were captured at the project's home base at Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History in York, South Carolina. For photos and descriptions of these birds, please see the links from Vagrant & Winter Hummingbird Banding.

If you have a sharp photo of a Rufous Hummingbird you would like to contribute for this page, please send it to PROJECTS with info about when and where the photo was taken, the photographer's name, and any anectdotal info about the bird.

Rufous Hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus, adult male

Adult Males (above) and Adult Female (below)

Rufous Hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus, adult female

Photographs courtesy of Animal Pictures Archive


Breeding Bird Survey Results (above)

Christmas Bird Count Results (below)

Maps courtesy of Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey

John James Audubon's rendering of Rufous Hummingbirds
(which he called "Ruff-necked Hummingbirds") from
Birds of North America
(Royal Octavo edition above, elephant folio below)

NOTE: Although Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the primary focus of "Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project", we are also interested in other hummingbird species--especially vagrants that appear in winter (mid-October through mid-March) in the eastern U.S. If you know of a wintering hummingbird east of the Mississippi, please report it to RESEARCH. We will contact a local hummingbird bander about capturing the bird, identifying and banding it, and releasing it unharmed.

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