What Do Hummingbird Eat?
Hummingbird's main food is flower
nectar. They also eat small
insects and spiders for protein.
One of the best known facts about hummingbirds is that hummingbirds
Red flowers and red on their feeders attract hummingbirds.
Trumpet shaped flowers are high
on their want list because they contain more nectar.
How Do Hummingbirds Eat?
Hummingbirds don't suck nectar into their bill like a straw.
One of the unknown hummingbird facts is that
they lap the nectar on the end of their forked tongue.
Many people are making food for hummers.
Is making hummingbird nectar difficult? Nope,
it is very easy.
The hummingbirds appreciate the food and we get to see them up close.
Red Attracts Hummers
How Do Hummingbirds Fly?
Hummingbirds fly better than helicopters!
They can not only hover, but they can fly
backward and upside down.
When they fly forward they carry their body horizontal and their wings beat up and down vertically.
Their wings power
them on both the up and down strokes. Most birds only power
on the down stroke.
Hummingbirds feed while they are hovering like a helicopter.
They move their body from the
horizontal flying position into a 45-degree angle.
Their wings beat horizontally from front to back.
Then they are able to eat while they are still flying.
Hovering to feed
When they fly backward, they drop their body vertical and move their wings in a circular motion up
over their heads.
Their wings move so fast, we can't see them, up to 200 strokes
What amazing hummingbird flight!
You can hear their wings hum-m-m -m-ing when they fly by.
HUMMINGBIRD MIGRATION facts
One of the best hummingbird facts is they spend their summers here in the United States.
We get to feed and enjoy them all summer. Then they fly south in the fall to Mexico or Central America.
Hummingbirds don't migrate in flocks like most other birds
all by themselves so its not easy for
predators to spot them. They fly only during daylight hours.
An amazing hummingbird fact is how far hummers fly!
Rufous fly all
the way from Alaska to Mexico over 2,000 miles. Some Calliope fly over
Ruby-throated hummingbirds fly non-stop across the Caribbean to Mexico and
Central America around 500 miles.
don't migrate. Also, some of the
Allen's and Costa's remain in the U.S. without migrating.
Do Butterflies Migrate?
Feeding Before Migration
Hummingbirds store up extra fat before their migration. Its important to keep your feeders full during migration time.
adult male hummers leave earlier in the fall before the females and
Don't take the feeders down for at least 2 weeks after
you see the last hummingbird at the feeder. That way any hummers that
are late migrating will be able to find food.
hummers except Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, make stops on the way to
More about Feeding Hummingbirds.
What Is Torpor?
Hummingbirds can die if
they don't have enough food to support their high metabolism.
One of the
most interesting hummingbird facts is the way they conserve energy.
When it is cold, when their food supply is low, or when they need to
save energy during migration, they are able to slow down their
This is called torpor. They commonly enter torpor at night.
When they enter torpor, their body temperature drops 20 to 50 degrees
lower and their heart beat lowers from the normal 500 beats per minute
to 50 to 180 beats per minute.
This amazing fact about hummingbirds enables them to
conserve food reserves.
Females rarely enter torpor while
they are nesting because their temperature would go too low to keep their eggs warm.
are rarely seen building a nest or feeding babies. One of the facts about hummingbirds is the female builds their nest.
She builds it out of grass, small leaves, roots, pine needles, animal fur, moss, furry plant parts, insect
cocoons and spider webs.
When the nest is held together with spider webs, it has the ability to expand as the babies grow.
The nests are cup shaped, barely two inches in diameter. She camouflages
the outside of the nest with bark, lichens or moss.
Hummer Feeding babies
Depending on the species, the nests are near the ground or up to 60 to 70 feet above the
Sometimes she will recycle an old
nest. Otherwise it takes her about a week to build a nest.
She generally lays two eggs less than a half an inch in size. In about two weeks, the babies hatch.
They are naked and blind when hatched.
After they hatch, mom feeds them small insects and slowly adds nectar.
four weeks, they fly from the nest. Mom will continue to feed them
another two or three weeks until they are
how long do hummingbirds live?
Hummingbirds then live on the average of four to
five years. They return to the same area and sometimes to the same nest and feeders they used
the year before.
Hummingbirds are such a joy. Its fun learning hummingbird facts.
What an amazing gift of God. They are free for all of us to enjoy.
All we need to do is
to invite them into our backyard by planting flowers and feeding them.