What is the fascination of watching a Hummingbird?
Hummingbirds are fast, they fly left, right, up, down, backwards
and even upside down and can hover for as long as they like.
at some point in their life hope to see a Hummingbird in action
or in flight. If you are lucky enough to be in a Hummingbird
area then chances are that you just might have the opportunity
to catch a glimpse of a Hummingbird or duck to miss that loud fluttering
sound they make as they zoom past you.
species of Hummingbirds.
There are at least 325 to 340 species
of Hummingbirds and the best way to identify the breed is by the
location of the Hummingbird. Hummingbirds are in the Trochilidae
family. They range in different sizes, from the biggest being
the Giant Hummingbird to the smallest being the Bee Hummingbird.
The Giant Hummingbird weighing as much as 24 grams and measuring
8.5 inches long and the Bee Hummingbird weighing as little as
2 grams and measuring around 2 inches long (slightly
bigger than a real bee). The
Bee Hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world and they
live on the Caribbean Islands.
Some species of Hummingbirds build the smallest bird
are so tiny that they can be the size of a thimble (less than
an inch across and an inch in height). A female hummingbird
usually lays 2 white eggs. The eggs will hatch around 14 days
and the chicks are born with their eyes closes and with no feathers.
Around 22 days after they hatch they will pledge from their
nest. The female hummingbird does all the building of the nest and
all the feeding for her young.
The male hummingbirds and female hummingbirds seek seperate
territories. The male hummingbird selects his territory for
his food source only; whereas the female selects her territory
for building her nest in a protected area and for her food source.
How many times does a Hummingbird flap its wings in a second?
Depending on its size and species, a Hummingbird
can flap its wings anywhere from 15 to 80 times in a second. Hummingbirds
get their name from the sound that their wings make when they
hover in mid-air rapidly flapping their wings. Their
wings move backwards and forwards as their bodies are held
upright. The tiny Bee Hummingbird beats its wings around
200 times in a second where as bigger Hummingbird's wings can
beat over 50 times in a second as they hover in mid air.
How can you attract Hummingbirds to your
There are several different
ways to attract Hummingbirds into your garden. One way is by
planting a Hummingbird garden with the appropriate flowers, trees,
shrubs and vines. Your best bet is to attract them with high visibility
and nectar plants as Hummingbirds do not have much sense of
smell and the flowers that do attract hummingbirds have very little
or no fragrance at all. Due to their long and tapered bills,
Hummingbirds are able to hover in front of the flowers and sip
the nectar with their tongue from the centre of tubular flowers.
eat soft insects and spiders to get their intake of protein. Protein is needed to help build their muscle mass. Therefore,
it is best that you do not use pesticides in your garden as this
will kill off the small insects that the Hummingbirds rely on
and they could even ingest the pesticides which can make them
sick or even kill the Hummingbird.
Hummingbirds provide an essential role as pollinateors as they
fly from flower to flower for nectar.
Hanging a Hummingbird feeder is another way to
attract Hummingbirds into your garden. Be patient as it may take
some time before a Hummingbird finds your feeder in their hunt
for food. Sugar-water feeders must remain clean and the syrup must
be fresh or the Hummingbirds will not feed from them. Hummingbirds
get their energy from nectar and the sugar-water from feeders.
When mixing the sugar and water the rule of thumb is that it should
be one part cane sugar to four parts of tap water or simply purchase
pre-made liquid mixtures for easy. The Hummingbird feeder needs
to be cleaned out at least every three to four days. Also, clean
it if it shows any signs of mold or if the syrup is cloudy. Try
to refrain from using red food coloring in the water as it is not
known if it is harmful to the Hummingbirds, purchase Hummingbird
feeders that contain the color red instead.
Another way to try to attract Hummingbirds to your garden is
to place some ripened fruit close to the plants and/or feeders.
The fruit will attract flies and the Hummingbirds will enjoy this
extra protein in your garden.
Hummingbirds have good memories and can remember
food locations from previous years so try to hang your feeders
in the same location each year.
There are several types of Hummingbird feeders
on the market. You can find them in bird stores, garden centers
and the Internet. When shopping for a Hummingbird feeder keep
in mind the amount of cleaning that will be required. Therefore
you should purchase one that is easy to disassemble and re-assemble.
Hummingbird feeders can be made of plastic or
glass. The glass feeders are heavier, more expensive and if dropped
they could shatter. They can be sterilized and last for a longer
period if looked after. Plastic Hummingbird feeders are less expensive
but tend to discolour from exposure. It is best to start out with
small plastic feeders and hang them in several different locations
in your garden. Remember when placing the Hummingbird feeders in
your garden that you would like to enjoy watching them at the
feeders so place them in areas where you can sit an enjoy watching
them. Another feature of hummingbird feeders is that
some come with perches so that the hummingbirds can rest while
they are feeding.
Do Hummingbirds migrate?
In the spring, hummingbirds migrate to
the United States and in the fall they migrate to the tropical
areas. The shortened days tell the Hummingbirds that it is
time to move on. By keeping you hummingbird feeder up, it will
not keep the hummingbirds there for a longer period. Although
you may still see some hanging around, they may just be fattening
up for their extended trips for their migration.