Tiny yet ferocious, the Ruby-throat weighs less than a nickel and can fly nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico.

Ruby-throated Humming bird map, NatureServeIt's easy to mistake a Ruby-throated Hummingbird for a bee at first glance. Their wings beat 60 to 80 times a second, and like the Mangrove Hummingbird and other hummingbird species, become a blur of motion.

This is the only breeding hummingbird in eastern North America, familiar to many as a backyard visitor. But even those familiar with the bird are often unaware of a threat to the species lurking in every home on the East Coast.

Windows: Major Bird Killer

Ruby-throats are frequent victims of collisions with man-made structures such as towers, turbines, and glass windows, particularly during their yearly migrations to and from Central America.

Birds don't see glass as we do. They are often enticed by the reflection of trees and sky, then hit windows at great speed. Frequently, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and other birds—up to one billion each year in the United States—die as a result.

 Donate to support ABC's conservation mission!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, MVPhoto, Shutterstock

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird, MVPhoto, Shutterstock

Stopping the Shock of Glass Collisions

Our Glass Collisions Program is focused entirely on advancing solutions that prevent birds from hitting windows. After several years of research and testing, we now provided a set of proven products that will help stop glass collisions, for every conceivable situation and budget.

Visit our Bird-Smart Glass page to learn about products for homeowners, architects, builders, and other interested in saving Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and other frequent window collisions victims, including Wood Thrush and White-throated Sparrow.

 Sign up for ABC's eNews to learn how you can help protect birds!

Ruby-throated Coffee Bird

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds migrate as far as Central America, where they can be found wintering on shade coffee farms. Unlike today's typical “sun” coffee farm, which razes all trees but the coffee itself, these traditional farms grow coffee in the shade of native trees. By doing so, they produce superior coffee and provide habitat for dozens of migratory songbirds.

The importance of shade coffee for migratory birds was confirmed by naturalists Kenn and Kim Kaufman, who estimated that a single shade coffee farm in Nicaragua sheltered more than 1,200 migratory bird species—including the Ruby-throated Hummingbird—on just 90 acres.

Buying bird-friendly coffee is an easy way you can help Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and many other migratory birds!

Support the Hummingbird Effect!

In his recent book, Steven Johnson coins the term “Hummingbird Effect” to make the point that innovation in one realm can trigger unpredictable and unexpected advancement in others. We not only agree, but have dozens of examples of how great American bird conservation projects make considerable, sometimes unexpected contributions to other important causes including amphibian conservation, human health, food safety, climate change, water conservation, and home energy savings. Support the Hummingbird Effect today.

 Want to live a bird-friendly life? Try these six simple steps!