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!
Enjoy these birds