Tiny Size? Bee Hummingbird of Cuba 2 grams = 1/14th of an ounce
Flight in all directions • Ravenous appetite • “Cute” • Behaviors Adult female Ruby-throated Hummingbird
When will they get here? The big questions are . . . Should I put out my feeder yet? YES!
Tracking the Northward Migration http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html
Just the facts . . . • Only in the Western Hemisphere • 338 species • Which country has the most? Ecuador – 163 species • How many species in the US? 19; only one nests east of the Mississippi River • Smallest warm-blooded creature • Most rapid wingbeat, largest heart & breast muscles
Topography Fewest total feathers - less than 1000
Hummingbird skeleton Exceptionally large breastbone (sternum)
Coevolution of Hummingbirds With Their Food Plants
Nest and Eggs Hummer Robin
Attracting Hummingbirds • Landscaping • Plantings • Feeders
Feeding • Nectar recipe: • 1 part white sugar: 4 parts water • Boil; cool; refrigerate. • If you wouldn’t drink it . . . don’t serve it to them. • Feeder care: • Ferments quickly, so change regularly • Keep ports clean-use a brush • Ant traps
Trees and Shrubs Azalea Butterfly Bush (Buddleia) Cape Honeysuckle Flame Acanthus Flowering Quince Lantana Manzanita Mimosa Red Buckeye Tree Tobacco Turk's Cap Weigela Vines Coral Honeysuckle Cypress Vine Morning Glory Scarlet Runner Bean Trumpet Creeper Plants to Attract and Feed Hummingbirds
Perennials Bee Balm (Monarda) Canna Cardinal Flower Columbine Coral Bells Four O'Clocks Foxglove Hosta Hummingbird Mint (Agastache) Little Cigar Lupine Penstemon Yucca Annuals Beard Tongue (& other penstemons) Firespike Fuchsia Impatiens Jacobiana Jewelweed Petunia Various Salvia species Shrimp Plant Japanese Honeysuckle attracts hummingbirds, too, but it's an invasive and troublesome exotic species that is not recommended. Flowers
Ruby-throated Trivia • Oldest Hummingbird – 9 years 1 month • Length -- 3.5 inches • Weight -- 3.1 grams • Body temp -- 105°- 108°F • Wing beat -- 40 to 80 per second • Respiration -- 250 per minute • Heart rate -- 250 bpm resting; 1200 beats per minute feeding • Flight speed -- 30 mph normal speed; 50 mph escape speed • Eyes - Hummingbirds have about 8x binocular vision and can see your feeder from about 3/4 of a mile. • Tongue -- The tongue is longer than the bill and is forked on the end. It has small wavy membranes on the sides that soak up the nectar and each time the bird ejects the tongue it squeezes the nectar into its mouth. It actually laps the nectar out of flowers and feeders like a cat.
Hummingbird Trivia • If you were to burn up as much energy as a hummingbird does--in proportion to size--you'd burst into flame. • Wings beat 55 times/sec when feeding, 200/sec when courting. • Experts say hummingbirds don't even need to sip from a feeder laced with saccharin to know it's phony. They know and fly by. • Eats about 50 times a day. • The hummingbird isn't the only bird that can fly backwards. • Tongue is shaped like a "W." • You never see more than two eggs in a hummingbird's nest. • If you drank the way a hummingbird drinks--in proportion to size--you'd knock back about a gallon per gulp. • To hover, a hummingbird moves its wings in a figure eight. • The Portuguese name for the hummingbird is beija flor, meaning "kiss the flower."