Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are so amazing. Some statistics (from Wikipedia):
- They weigh about 3 grams = .106 oz (a little over 1/10th of an ounce)
- They are about 3″ long
- The males are slightly smaller than the females, and have a shorter beak
- They spend most of the winter in southern Mexico, Central America, South America, and the West Indies
- 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.
- Average lifespan is 3-5 years
- They have 940 or more feathers on average, more than any other bird (based on unit of feathers per body weight)
- 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.
And a good look at their amazing iridescence:
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.