Did you know ?????
- The Cuban bee hummingbird is 2 1/4 inches long and about the size of a bee.
- They hover, move ahead, sideways and backwards in an 8 pattern.
- Not only do they sip nectar but they eat insects and spiders.
- There are 340 species of hummingbirds, and all are found in the western hemisphere, and only one - the ruby throated is regularly found east of the Mississippi.
- Wingbeats are 20-2000 beats per second, especially on a dive.
- Normal flight is 25-30 mph but can go 50 mph.
- Their normal body temperatures is 103 degrees and may drop to 70 degrees at night to save energy.
- Hummingbirds feed every 10 minutes during the day.
- They prefer red and orange tubular flowers.
- Hummingbirds usually lay 2-3 eggs, so tiny they fit on a penny.
- Hummingbirds have few enemies. The male will defend against, cats, dogs, other birds, even humans if near their nests or mates.
- The Ruby-throated hummingbird weighs 1/10th of an ounce.
- At rest the hummingbird pulse is 450 beats per second, when flying it will be 1,200 beats per second.
- They, of course, are not songbirds but have a high thin squeak.
- Hummingbirds winter in Central America and Mexico.
- Their wing consists of one joint at the shoulder.
- Returning, by late March they are in the southern USA and in the north by June.
- Males court by showing off, they do some whirlwind acrobats and loops, dizzying turns, and then will halt in mid air in front of the female and lift his head to show off his blazing red throat.
Maintaining a Hummingbird Feeder
Feed sugar water. Four parts water, and one part sugar. Bring to a boil but do not boil, it will make the mixture too sweet. Store excess in the refrigerator. Do not use honey and do not add red coloring.
Place feeder in the shade, sun will accelerate bacteria growth.
Clean the feeders every 2 or 3 days, high temperatures will create life threatening fungus.
Also keep in mind
Spread your plant material around to discourage dominance by one hummingbird.
Avoid the use of pesticides.
Try to have continuous bloom.
Hang 1-3 feeders.
Plant Material to attract hummingbirds:
Annuals: cleome, flowering tobacco, pentas, scarlet sage, cardinal flower, fushia, bee balm, vinca, morning glory, red hot poker, cypress vine, impatience
Perennials: Texas star hibiscus, shrimp plant, cardinal flower, pineapple sage, Mexican sage, columbine
Vines: trumpet honeysuckle, Japanese honey suckle, wildgrape, coral honeysuckle
Shrubs: butterfly bush, firespike, bottlebush, wiegelia, firecracker plant, rose of sharon
Trees: mimosa, bottlebush