Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are found throughout the eastern part of Texas and the U.S. and southern Canada. They migrate to Mexico south through Costa Rica for the winter. They must gain critical bodyweight before attempting to cross the Gulf of Mexico. The hummingbirds will nearly double their weight (from about 3.25 grams to 6 grams) before crossing the Gulf of Mexico. A single migration can become a nonstop flight of up to 500 miles over a period of 18 to 22 hours.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird has a total estimated population of over 7 million individuals. This species of hummingbird was hunted during the nineteenth century for its beautiful plumage, but the Ruby-throated Hummingbird now enjoys protection from harvest through the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This act declares unlawful the taking, killing, or possessing of migratory birds. It is also listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna of 1975.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a common species of hummingbird which enjoys a large population. This is probably due to the fact it is protected from harvest through the the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Through this act and maintaining and protecting habitats and nectar plants along the migration route of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird this species of hummungbird should maintain a healthy population well into the future.