This painting is one of a group of paintings of ruby-throated hummingbirds that Heade painted shortly after his trip to Brazil in 1863-64. According to a letter dated January 27, 1993 from Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., it relates most closely to Ruby Throat of North America of 1865 (Stebbins, p. 230, no. 93), and appears to be a variant of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird in the Gems of Brazil series, now in the Manoogian Collection.
The painting was recently found in Devon, England, suggesting that it may have been painted circa 1865, while Heade was still in London pursuing the Gems of Brazil project. Otherwise, according to Stebbins, it would have been painted in the following year or two after Heade had returned to New York.
This painting will be included in Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr.'s forthcoming revised catalogue raisonne of the artist's work.