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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

End Of Summer

Although I still have a few here, some of my hummingbirds have started to head south for the Winter. It's a sad day for me when I realize that they've all gone and that I won't see them again until late April.

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These photos are not nearly as good as the ones I took in June. But they're not terrible. I was just a little too close to the feeder so they're a twinge blurry. If you look closely at the bottom 2 photos, you can see her little tongue sticking out!

Hummingbirds are the tiniest of all birds. They are no bigger than my pinky finger.

Hummingbirds wings flap about 55 times per second and they can fly at the rate of 25 miles per hour.

To learn more about hummingbirds, specifically the Ruby Throated Hummingbird which is most common species in the US, click here.

I've enjoyed endless hours with these little creatures. I'm completely facinated with them and I know they've become quite used to seeing me. In fact, on Monday, when I brought the feeder in to wash and refill, one of my little girls pitched an absolute fit at me! She was sitting in the pine tree and the minute I grabbed that feeder, she started screaming at me!

They are fearless and very territorial. I've had them come right up to me and hover about a foot away from my face, almost as if they're thanking me for feeding them. If we stand to close to the feeder, they buzz us! That is, they divebomb us but because they're wings move so fast, you can hear them buzz. Scott came in the house one day last week all excited and proudly proclaimed that he had been buzzed by a hummingbird!

Hummingbird feeders are a great responsibility. The feeder must be washed and the sugar water changed at least every 4 days. After that period of time, the sugar water can start to ferment and the growth of mold can take place and that can make the tiny little birds sick. I love my little hummingbirds so much that it's never been a chore for me to take care of the feeders. In fact, I've had so much Hummingbird activity here this Summer, that I've had to wash and refill the feeders every other day all Summer!

Besides the sugar water, which gives Hummingbirds their instant energy, their main source of food is the protein found in bugs. We never use pesticides in our garden. Not only do we not want to harm the hummingbirds, but if we kill of the bugs, then the hummingbirds won't have enough food in our garden to keep them here.

3 comments:

Gina E. said...

How utterly delightful! What charming little birds they are; although there are some small species here, we don't have any THAT small in Australia. I love to hear about what other people do for their local wildlife. We put out seed and fruit as well as fresh water every day for the various birds that visit us. And at night, the possums finish up what's left - if anything. We put out fresh apple for them regardless.

Michele said...

Wow, I love the pix...i can't get my camera to catch them. I have several that come to my feeder. I also got a bird bath this year for my b-day. My kids just love that. The kitties enjoy looking out the back window and checking out the birds. My himalayan chirps to them. I also put out the suet but have to be careful due to bears. So no fruit for the kids.

Sharon said...

Thanks Pam - a lovely insight into these litle birds...

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