Anticipating the Hummingbirds


Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the Carolinas. The only bird that can fly backwards. There wings flap 50-80 times a second and their heart pumps 1260 beats per minute. Their size only reaches 3 – 3 1/2″ tall and weigh around 2-3 grams.

They feed on nectar and insects and definitely come to nectar feeders. I have about 6 feeders out from mid spring to early fall. My understanding is that they come back to the same area or even the same house if treated well, with nectar that is, I cannot confirm this however. This year I will try again to gain their trust and have them land on my hand streched out with nectar in my palm. I almost had one try it last year but something spooked him.

The males have a ruby throat and it looks like tiny sequins in the sun. As their neck turns from side to side it will change color from black to orange, gold and the red… simply amazing to watch. If you sit quietly with little movement you can watch them perch on their favorite branch while they protect their feeder. If another bird gets close they dive forward a lightening speed to claim their feeder, sometimes at fight ensues and they both fly off fighting each other, and if another one is close by he/she can now have the feeder all to themselves. I love watching this it is very entertaining.

So check back for new photos of my hummingbirds. I have a gallery on my website, click here for a slides show or just go to my website, click on nature, then hummingbirds.



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