Hummingbird

I had never seen a real life Hummingbird before, only in pictures or videos until I visited Bo’s friend’s horse stable.  She has a hummingbird feed of water sugar and I sat there for a while before getting these pictures.  It was late in the evening, so some of the pictures are not as clear and the Hummingbirds are super fast so it’s hard to capture them.

This is a nice video by John Reiser, there are several hummingbirds that patronize a feeder in his parents’ backyard. Filmed in the Pinelands of New Jersey.

I also found some interesting information about Hummingbird from Wikipedia.  Hummingbirds are birds in the family Trochilidae, and are native to the Americas. They are among the smallest of birds. They can hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings 12-90 times per second (depending on the species). They can also fly backwards, and are the only group of birds able to do so, it‘s very neat to see them in action.

Hummingbirds feed on the nectar of plants and are important pollinators, especially of deep-throated, tubular flowers. Like bees, they are able to assess the amount of sugar in the nectar they eat, they reject flower types that produce nectar which is less than 10% sugar and prefer those whose sugar content is stronger. Nectar is a poor source of nutrients, so hummingbirds meet their needs for protein, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc. by preying on insects and spiders, especially when feeding young.

Most hummingbirds have bills that are long and straight or nearly so, but in some species the bill shape is adapted for specialized feeding. When hummingbirds feed on nectar, the bill is usually only opened slightly, allowing the tongue to dart out and into the interior of flowers, with that long bill, I guess they must have a very long tongue.

 

Hummingbirds do not spend all day flying, as the energy cost would be prohibitive, the majority of their activity consists simply of sitting or perching. Hummingbirds feed in many small meals, consuming many small invertebrates and up to five times their own body weight in nectar each day. They spend an average of 10-15% of their time feeding and 75-80% sitting and digesting.

They are so pretty to look at, I’m thinking about putting a hummingbird feeder out in my garden.

6 comments

  1. Just as the line ‘if you built it they will come…’ If you put up the feeder, the hummingbird will come.

    The feeder I have in my garden did not have a spot for the hummingbird to perch on like your friend’s. That’s a good idea to have them rest while drinking:)) I caught several pictures last year of the hummingbird feeding, even a close-up one while I was in the garden weeding below the feeder. The flapping of their wings produced this unusual buzzing sound that when you hear it, it’s a ‘what the heck moment,’ and you just have to stop what you are doing to investigate. And when I did, it was a hummingbird flying above my head, feeding on the nectar I had setup.

    Also, when I was a novice monk in Georgia for two weeks, a hummingbird flew into the mountain cabin where we were staying. The bird was so tired from flying around in the cabin, up to the ceiling, that by the time we caught it, the poor creature rested in my hands for awhile before disappearing into the woods. The feathers around its chest area, or something, changed colors, glowing almost instantaneous from that fluorescent green to crimson red, back and forth during its breathing, very fascinating to watch.

    Thanks for the lovely pictures and a moment down memory lane.

    • PaNoy, that’s interesting that you see the feather changed colors, it’s probably the combo colors of fluorescent green and crimson red on the chest area, and that each movement shown different color since it’s a different angle. I think putting the feeder out in my garden might be good since it’s wooded behind my backyard, and the one that she has is not very expensive, she makes the sugar water herself, she uses 4 parts water to 1 part white sugar, I might try this myself.

  2. I love hummingbirds too. I was just looking at some feeders at Lowe’s the other day. They had so many to chose from. I don’t think my mom can have a feeder here since the cat would try to kill the hummingbird.

    I also saw one recently hovering around the Zinnias (flower). So neat to witness in person. And now you’ve capture in photo. Lovely photos too. 🙂

    • Cambree thanks. We’ve a Bird Unlimited store in our area, I’ve been in there before and they have all kinds of neat stuff. I’ve always wanted to go bird watching but my lens is not ideal to capture small items from a distance, so bringing them closer is a good idea for now. I like Zinnias, they don’t require a lot of care and attract butterfly also, I need to grow some next year.

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