Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bird of the Day

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The spring brings backs many amazing birds but the smallest might be the most amazing of them all.  The Ruby-throated Hummingbird travels thousands of miles north from Central America to it's summering grounds in most of Eastern North America.  The male has a striking green head and red "ruby" throat where it gets it's name.  The female is duller but still very beautiful.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeds mostly on nectar of flowers.  They use their long bill and tongue to drink the nectar from flowers or sugar water from feeders.  The hummingbird also needs protein in their diet. They get this from insects, spiders, aphids, and small caterpillars.  I have seen them in my yard hunting small flying insects around trees.

The most amazing skill of all for the Hummingbird is their precision flying.  They are able to move in any direction and hover in mid-air too.  The Ruby-throated Hummingbird beats it's small wings about 53 times a second.  This allows it to perform all these precision moves to feed, hunt and avoid predators.  

The males doesn't stick around long during the mating season.  Just long enough to court and then mate.  The female builds a thimble size nest mostly in trees for her brood of 1 or 2.

Fun Facts about the Ruby-throated Hummingbird

-Ruby-throated Hummingbird is in the Apodiformes order with the Swifts.
-Hummingbird's heart beats about 1260 times per minute.
-Ruby-throated Hummingbird has very good sight and can see into the ultraviolet spectrum.

Thanks to D3hockeyfan for the great shots of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.  Share your experience with these amazing birds in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Living in bear country means we have to take our bird feeders down in the spring, but we have multiple hummingbird feeders up during the summer. Over the years we have observed the "hummers" extensively and noted they arrive around Mother's Day and leave soon after Labor Day with the males off migrating before the females. In the spring the feeders are a quiet spot, but as the summer progress competition begins as the population increases. We have observed hummers literally sitting watch over a feeder and chasing off others. They also engage in dive bombing to protect their favorite feeder. This behavior intensives in late summer as they bulk up for the long migration. The are fascinating creatures and it is fun to watch their antics and superior flying/hovering skills. D3HockeyFan