Hummingbird Season

Have you seen any Hummingbirds this year?  They should be here any minute; and I can hardly wait!

The only breeding Hummingbird in NC is the Ruby Throated Hummingbird (archelochus colubris).  These Hummers will return from Mexico & Central America, to spend the summer, breed, raise their young and do it all over again.  The Ruby Throated Hummers like deciduous forest with some pine, woodland clearings, gardens & orchards.

These little birds are iridescent green, only the males have a red throat patch (gorget); better to attract the lady birds.  The hummers can fly over 30 MPH, dive at 60 MPH & maneuver like a helicopter; but weigh about the same as a penny.  Hummers are the smallest of all animals that have a backbone.  They have no sense of smell & percent wise, Hummers have the largest brain of all birds.

Their territorial antics are usually centered on a food source  They feed in the daytime, preferring floral nectar, insects, spiders & feeders.  Some of the flowers that attract them are red tubular flowers such as, coral honeysuckle, trumpet creeper, wild bergamot, jewel weed & columbine.  Hummingbirds are important pollinators for vine trumpet creepers, cardinal flowers, bee balm & jewel weed.

The female raises the young alone.  They build nests as high as 60′ off the ground.  They sometimes choose a site over water.  Thtiny nest takes 6-10 days to build.  The nest is covered with lichens.  The nest cup is filled with wadded plant material and covered with spiderweb.  The nest is typically 1-2″ tall and 1.5″ wide. (no wonder we never see them)

Check out this video for a preview of the sights to come.  I just love these birds!

http://youtu.be/X9uxYy_Na3we

Enjoy these birds

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