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Ruby Throated Hummingbirds

Ruby Throated Hummingbirds

        Recently our family has been watching hummingbirds at our feeder.  The tiny, delicate birds are quiet fascinating with wings that can flap up to 100 beats per second and a heart rate that can reach 1260 beats per minute.  The breed of hummingbirds that visit our backyard feeder is the Ruby Throated Hummingbird.

These energetic, beautiful, adventurous hummingbirds feed on invertebrates and nectar throughout the day consuming up to 12 times their body weight in nectar.  They prefer red flowers to feed on thus the reason for red nectar in feeders.  If you are wearing a red shirt don’t be surprised if a hummingbird comes to check you out.  They are extremely territorial and will chase other birds away from the food source making their sharp high-pitched noise.

The hummingbirds wake up bright and early to feed on the nectar because it can barely make it through the night without food.  It heart rate slows dramatically at night so not to use too much energy.  The wings can rotate nearly 180 degrees letting it fly forward, backwards, and hovering as well as bolting through the trees at speeds up to 60 mph (though theirnormal feeding speed is 30 mph).

Once a year the hummingbirds make an amazing monster venture 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico after an amazing gain of 50% of it’s own body weight.

 

The wondrous courtship of the Ruby Throated Hummingbird is a sight to behold.  The male will climb up to 10 feet above the female and will dive 6 feet to the sides of the female.  Then after the female lands the male does extremely fast arcs less than 2 feet away from her.

Hummingbirds are one of the most fascinating creature that exist. Many study them for hours and are

entertained and inspired by these remarkable little birds.

 

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