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Birds of the St. Croix River Valley: Minnesota and Wisconsin



Ruby-throated Hummingbird -- Rufous Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

Status: Regular migrant and nesting species.

Migration: Fairly common migrant throughout the Valley. Spring migrants arrive during the second week of May (earliest-13 April 1953, Burnett County) and peak abundance occurs 20 May to 1 June. Peak fall abundance occurs 10-25 August and departure by 20 September (latest-1 October 1947, St. Croix County; Robbins 1948a).

Nesting Season Distribution: The ruby-throated hummingbird is a fairly common nesting species throughout the Valley; positive or inferred breeding has been recorded in all counties.

Habitat: Breeding ruby-throated hummingbirds occur in a variety of habitat types, most commonly in brushy margins, openings of deciduous forests, and Deciduous Clear Cuts in the Central Plain and Northern Highland. I have found several hummingbird nests in the branches of cottonwoods along the Willow River in St. Croix County. Jackson (1942) noted that in northwestern Wisconsin this species seemed to prefer tamarack bogs for nesting. He speculated that the abundant Usnea moss that grows on tamarack was important for nest building.

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)

Status: Accidental, one record.

Record: One rufous hummingbird was observed in Washington County, about 3.2 km west of Prescott, Wisconsin, from the end of September to 15 October 1978 (Binder 1979). This was one of three rufous hummingbirds that occurred in Minnesota during the late summer and fall 1978.

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