Hi Christine -- and welcome to the vtbird community!
Your bird is most likely a Ruby-throated hummer. Rufous would be a very rare sighting here. Although they occasionally wander east, their home turf is usually west of the Rocky Mountains.
The red you are seeing is probably the iridescent feathering on the male's throat catching the sun the right way and giving you, and his female audience, a light show. You are witnessing a mating display that males put-on when females enter their territory. She was probably sitting in the brush. And, since it sounds like she flew-off, she wasn't impressed.
They are wonderful little birds to watch.
Here's some good info. from the Cornell All About Birds site. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/ruby-throated_hummingbird/lifehistory
Hope this helps. Welcome again, and please keep posting. We all love to hear each other's experiences. And, it's how we all learn!
On Jul 8, 2013, at 12:26 PM, Christine Dorsey wrote:
> Hi. I'm new to the list, but wanted to report an interesting sighting. This morning, I witnessed what I believe were two rufous hummingbirds mating! One bird, presumably the male, was dipping and diving in a big "U" shape chasing after another bird. It was very red, so I think it was either the rufous or the ruby throated. It did this display several times right in front of me, and the sound was very loud. The birds finally dove into some brush in front of my vegetable garden, and then one flew up and perched in a tree. It was really amazing to watch! I wish I had a camera with me.
> Christine McGowan
> Stowe, VT
Waitsfield, Vt. 05673
802-496-9393 ext 13