Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's Hummingbird Time

I just created a new label for my posts: Random. This is totally inconsistent with everything I've posted before now.

One of my kids asked me when it was time to put our Hummingbird feeder back up. Not being the expert on the migration patterns of the Southeastern Hummingbird, I decided to do a little research. Turns out, now is the time. So dust off the feeders...

I'm just posting information relative to those who like to hang feeders, watch them zig-zag around, fight over the food and appreciate God's creativity and attention to the smallest of details.


If you're fortunate, you'll have one get caught in your garage or carport. This has happened on several occasions and we've figured out a way to "catch" them, hold them and look at them up close. They really are amazing! (I took the photo above while holding one in the other hand...)

Happy bird-watching!

  • The smaller feeders are best. If you use a large one, only fill it half-full as the mix will spoil in a week's time.
  • Eats about its weight in nectar or sugar water each day
  • Hummingbirds will feed 5 to 8 times every hour for 30 to 60 seconds at a time.
  • Don't spend your money on the red commercial hummingbirds food mix. All they need is glucose (sugar). One tip is to create a 2:1 mix (water:sugar) in a pot over medium to medium-high heat until it begins to steam.
  • Hummingbirds are very territorial and will perch in trees, vines or bushes, between feedings to watch the area..... and will attack other birds that might try to feed at their food source. Typically, a dominant male will claim a feeder as "his." One tip to see more activity is to put out more than one feeder.
  • Feeds about 5-10 times per hour for 30-60 seconds each time; they do NOT feed constantly (in fact, they go all night without eating, and during nesting season females spend much of their time incubating).
  • Normal straight-line flight speed is about 25mph up to 40mph in a courtship dive (apparently they like to show off...).
  • Their wings beat about 60-80 times per second in normal flight, up to 200 times per second in courtship dives.
  •  Most hummingbirds die within their first year; those that don't probably live an average of 3 years or so.


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