Hummingbirds

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are so amazing.  Some statistics (from Wikipedia):

  1. They weigh about 3 grams = .106 oz (a little over 1/10th of an ounce)
  2. They are about 3″ long
  3. The males are slightly smaller than the females, and have a shorter beak
  4. They spend most of the winter in southern Mexico, Central America, South America, and the West Indies
  5. In the fall, they become very territorial, defending their food supply.  They must add weight to their little bodies to have enough stored energy for the 500-mile flight across the Gulf of Mexico.
  6. Average lifespan is 3-5 years
  7. They have 940 or more feathers on average, more than any other bird (based on unit of feathers per body weight)
  8. The throat area is not actually red.  The area is dark, but the feathers are faceted in a way that they appear dazzling red when light hits it at the right angle.

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And a good look at their amazing iridescence:

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We’ve noticed them spending a lot of time “resting” in the branches of the crab apple tree.

I think they’re really defending the feeders.  Either way, they’re doing whatever they can to eat a lot of calories and resting to conserve energy to prepare their bodies for their long migration south.

–Sue

4 thoughts on “Hummingbirds”

  1. We have several “hummers” fighting for the bird feeder with one male claiming it has his own. Yesterday, 4 females ganged up on him so there was quite a bird show to watch with all the fluttering. We call the male “bully” as well.

  2. First, thanks for the charm which I rec today..it is sooo cute!! Second, love your pictures of the hummers. Amazing.. Third, we enjoyed Bertha here one nite as well; sure miss her not being in SA!

  3. How cool is that! Amazing photos of the birds and thanks for the info. I need to get some of these beautiful birds in my backyard. I’ve only ever seen one and I wish I could see more of them. I’ll have to do some work to attract them for next year.

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