Monday, May 14, 2007

Hummingbird Season

I haven’t seen our Hummingbird family return just yet although I expect to any day now. But, since the hummingbird season is upon I thought it would be a good time to share a few facts and tips on these beloved birds.

Facts

Hummingbirds zip around at about 30 MPH and when zooming in towards a feeder they often reach close to 40 MPH. (And believe me, they will dive bomb at times if you are near their feeder!)

North American Hummers weigh from 3 to 8 grams on average and measure 3 to 5 inches.

They eat insects and spiders as well as nectar. Even more reason to adore them!

The female Ruby Throat usually lays two eggs with each being about the size of a jelly bean. Imagine!

Their wings beat faster than the human eye can see at 40 to 80 beats per second.

Their heart pumps blood at 1200 beats per minute. When at rest this slows to about 250 beats per minute. Amazing!

Tips

To make Hummingbird food, mix four parts water with 1 part tap water. Boil water and add sugar to hot water, stirring until completely dissolved. Let cool before filling feeders. Refrigerate any leftover mixture.

Replenish the sugar water every 2-3 days during the hot summer months and every 4-5 days in cooler weather to keep from fermenting.

Scrub those feeders every week with plain hot water to get rid of mold and mildew and other matter, such ants that find their way to the feeder.

Hummers are attracted to red, but do not use dyes or food coloring in their food! It may be harmful to the birds health. Do not use honey because it fosters the growth of fungus which is lethal to hummers.

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