Jewels of Nature
Hummingbirds differ from other birds in a variety of ways. They have weak feet and legs that are used more for perching than walking.
They are most comfortable in the air, and they are capable of hovering as well as flying up, down, forward and backward.
According to research, hummingbirds hold the record for possessing the fastest metabolism of any animal on the planet. Hummingbirds can consume up to twice their body weight in nectar every day. In order to accomplish this amazing feat, hummingbirds’ bills and tongues have evolved into incredibly efficient feeding tools.
Despite popular belief, hummingbirds do not suck up nectar with their bills. They actually lap it up with their tongues. While dipping their grooved tongues into nectar sources at up to 12 times a second, the nectar is drawn up and into their mouth each and every time. You can see this remarkable tongue in action with our WBU® Hummingbird Feeder. It features a transparent bottom that allows you to see a hummingbird’s long tongue and rapid lapping action.
Hummingbird nests are made of plant down, glued together with spider webs and tree sap. These nests are usually located on pencil-sized limbs and are camouflaged with bits of lichen.
Female hummingbirds raise their young alone. Due to the males’ extremely aggressive territorial behavior, females will establish a nesting area outside of the males’ feeding territory.
Did You Know?
Millions of hummingbirds have started their southward migration and providing hummingbird feeders to help them along their way is now more critical than ever this year.
You can help them by offering a sugar-water solution placed in specially designed hummingbird feeders. The simple recipe for this nectar solution is mixing four parts of water to one part of common table sugar. Pour the clear nectar into a red-colored feeder to attract these amazing birds.
Place the feeder in a shaded location and change the nectar every 2-3 days to help prevent spoilage. Multiple feeders will help to minimized squabbles and reduce crowding.
At this time each year, the migrating waves of hummingbirds that visit our feeders provide the most spectacular viewing opportunity of the season. During the peak of migration, the hummingbirds that visit feeders on any given late-summer day are completely replaced by a new set of migrants every 24 hours.
Research has also discovered that for every 10 individual hummingbirds you see at you feeder at one time, you will actually have about 50 hummingbirds pass through your yard on that same day. And this year, it is likely to be a higher number as the reduced amount of natural nectar sources drives more migrants towards feeders to re-fuel.
By providing hummingbirds with supplemental feeders you are sure to help make their journey south a little easier and you just may be rewarded with some of the most stunning displays of hummingbirds at your feeders that we have seen in many years.