Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Can you find the Ruby-throated Hummingbird in this photo?

I watched him fly through Myrtle Glen, sipping nectar from the flowers and when he finally perched on the branch he let me get close to take some pictures.

This year we have two male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds chasing each other, and several females zipping around. They are very vocal and aggressive towards each other, guarding a flowering plant they claim for themselves against all other hummers, even butterflies and large bumblebees.

Males have bright read colored throat, females are grayish in color.

Wings beating about 53 times per second create the hum.

The birds are flying acrobats, they can hover, fly upside down and backwards. This takes up a lot of energy and their high metabolism requires them to eat up to twice their body weight in food each day. On the menu are insects, spiders, flower nectar and sap.

In Fall they migrate to  Mexico and Central America but breed here in the eastern half of North America. Males establish a territory and court the females with flying acrobatics, doing  loopings in the sky. Females may have several broods laying 1 to 3 eggs each time.

We do not offer sugar water in feeders since the birds prefer the flowers.

Here is a list of flowers the Hummingbirds love to visit, they do prefer red flowers, and visit those first, to then go on the pinks, orange, purple and blue

Pineapple Sage

red Bottlebrush blooms

Coral Honeysuckle

the flowers on my Bromeliad Portea petropolitana


Shrimp Plant

Spiral Ginger

red Pentas

pink Porterweed

Bat faced cuphea

Candy Corn (Cigar Plant)

purple Porterweed

Iochroma, purple bell-shaped flowers


Morning Glories

different Salvias and Sage

Aloe flowers

1 comment:

  1. I don't put any hummingbird feeders out either. They seem to be happy enough with the flowers in my garden. They like hyssops a lot, too.