Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ready and Waiting

I look so forward to the arrival of hummingbirds....

This picture was taken last year. Some days both of my feeders are covered with these beauties!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

With the exception of insects, hummingbirds while in flight have the highest metabolism of all animals, a necessity in order to support the rapid beating of their wings. Their heart rate can reach as high as 1,260 beats per minute, a rate once measured in a Blue-throated Hummingbird. They also consume more than their own weight in nectar each day, and to do so they must visit hundreds of flowers daily. Hummingbirds are continuously hours away from starving to death, and are able to store just enough energy to survive overnight.

Hummingbirds are capable of slowing down their metabolism at night, or any other time food is not readily available. They enter a hibernation-like state known as torpor. During torpor, the heart rate and rate of breathing are both slowed dramatically (the heart rate to roughly 50–180 beats per minute), reducing the need for food.

Only white granulated sugar is proven safe to use in hummingbird feeders. A ratio of 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water is a common recipe. Boiling and then cooling this mixture before use has been recommended to help deter the growth of bacteria and yeasts. Powdered sugars contain corn starch as an anti-caking agent; this additive can contribute to premature fermentation of the solution. Brown, turbinado, and "raw" sugars contain iron, which can be deadly to hummingbirds if consumed over long periods. Honey is made by bees from the nectar of flowers, but it contains sugars that are less palatable to hummingbirds and promotes the growth of microorganisms that may be dangerous to their health.

If you don't have a hummingbird feeder, I urge you to get one. They are just so fascinating to watch.

Have a great day all!
It's yard day for me.....I love it!



Deb said...

I love hummingbirds also...they love my 4 o'clocks...can't wait for them to show up this year

Ocean Girl said...

I think their heart rate is faster than my boat propeller!

linda said...

Hummingbirds just make me smile!

I need to go buy a new feeder. Thanks for the reminder!

grammy said...

I really am going to get one.
I see them in the mountains so I am not sure they are down here...but I will try it.
In the mountains while we are camping...they attract I am afraid to do it up there (o:

deedee said...

Hummingbirds seem to be here (AZ) year round. I love watching them from my office window. Your picture is amazing with all those hummingbirds at the same time.

Solar Powered said...

I bet they are at their planning meeting discussing how excited they are to get to Nanny's house! Who wouldn't be?

Noni at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I'll bet they are setting their navigation systems to take them directly to your house!! LOL! I miss feeding the birds so much. When we bought this house, it came with a cat... Velvet, the assassin cat. She barely weighs more than six pounds, but is pure killing machine. I can't in good conscience feed the birds anymore... it'd be like a deer feeder for hunters! Soooooo, I'll have to enjoy yours through upcoming blog posts!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love hummingbirds but in all the years I lived here I've never seen one in my area!

Jill said...

Em and I JUST got our feeder out to rinse and ready!
I love them too...I am mesmerized by their size and the spit spats they have with each other!