Cool Facts About the Hummingbird

By Stephanie Hetu

Before we throw facts about the hummingbird at you, we hope you’ve been visited by these tiny birds and been as delighted as most of us are. If your back yard contains the right kind of flowers, chances are you’ve been visited by these critters and have a few questions for which we have answers!

Cool Facts About the Hummingbird:

Did you know that Ruby-throated hummingbird females are up to 20% bigger than the males? This is one of the facts about the hummingbird that most people don’t know. But then they move so swiftly, whether it weighs one-tenth of an ounce or three-tenths of an ounce is hardly significant, is it? Interestingly enough, both sexes nearly double their weight in preparation for the fall migration to warmer climes.

Their wings beat 60-80 times per second and they fly at up to 25 miles per hour. With this in mind, you now realize why they need super concentrated sugar water solutions if you are going to provide a worthwhile food in your feeders. Use a ratio of 4 parts sugar to 1 part water.

Speaking of feeders, we do hope you are taking advantage of an easy feed. They will find even the most remotely placed feeder. If you want them to come right up to your most convenient window, put it there. These inquisitive birds will find it within a day or two at the most IF they are in town.

Some geographic locations have a very limited visitation period. In central Oklahoma, you will often not see these birds until late July and they’ll be gone by mid September. Still and all, you do have that window of opportunity to watch them up close and personal for awhile.

One of the ‘don’ts’ concerns using honey or brown sugar in the water instead of white sugar. Don’t do it. In the heat of the sun, anything but white sugar–with a drop of red food coloring if you wish–will encourage the growth of mold and bacteria and bring disease to this tiny critter. And please change this water every third day to eliminate souring. Fresh is best and sugar is cheap!

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