Thursday, September 9, 2010

Welcome Back!

I look forward to the hummingbirds arriving in the spring......

This year they just didn't show up......

Two weeks ago I was outside and I heard the chirp I had been listening for....










I have been feeding 3 or 4 for a few days but today when I got home the feeders were covered and more swarming waiting on a drink. They had emptied both feeders so I hurriedly got the pan, dissolved the sugar, cooled it off and gave them a refill!


I don't know where they spent the summer but I am happy that they are stopping by before going south. Maybe I will have them for a few weeks.



MIGRATION & SITE FIDELITY
DISTANCE: About 845km (525mi) non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico, and then up to another 1,600km (1,000mi) into Central America; RTHU that nest in Canada must also fly from there to the Gulf Coast, a distance of another 1,600km (1,000mi) or so.

ELAPSED TIME: Estimated 20 hours to fly across the Gulf of Mexico. (Some RTHUs may go overland through Mexico.)


FEEDING & METABOLISM
RATE: Eats about its weight in nectar or sugar water each day.

FREQUENCY: About 5-10 times per hour for 30-60 seconds each time

BODY TEMPERATURE: 40.5 degrees C (105-108 degrees F)

TORPOR: On cold nights, a RTHU can lower its body temperature by about 20 degrees C (30 degrees F), thus conserving energy that we be used to maintain its normal temperature. The next morning, the RTHU speeds up its metabolism and get its body temperature back up to normal within a few minutes.

ENERGY USE: On a typical day, a RTHU needs about 10 calories of food to survive. This can come in the form of carbohydrates (sugar water or flower nectar) or fats and proteins (primarily from tiny insects and spiders).

Fascinating aren't they?

Nanny

11 comments:

Everyday Goddess said...

Incredibly fascinating! So great that you have them nearby, and the information is all new to me!

JGH said...

We were visiting my father-in-law in New Mexico recently and they emptied a feeder in just a few hours, too! It seemed like the more we put out, the more they drank. You got some great shots!

tootie said...

I saw one just the other morning on my walk. I enjoyed watching it - they are amazing creatures!

Amanda said...

I thought about you the other day. For the first time in my life, I saw a hummingbird moth. I never even knew such a thing existed, but the lady at Home Depot pointed it out. Made me think of how much you like your hummingbirds. =) Glad your friends are back.

lindsaydenice said...

i love them too! but apparently in order to get them to start coming to nectar (especially in an apartment complex) you have to plant a sweet smelling flower that attracts them. problem is, i have squirrels. i dislike squirrels. they make a habit of plucking all of my buds from my plants. and then once the plant is dead - those little suckers use their legs like a backhoe and empty my soil onto my patio. so until i find a cure for squirrels, i'm afraid i might be hummingbirdless.

Deb said...

I haven't seen hummingbirds this summer either...this week my husband saw one on my morning glories...I've been watching...still haven't seen one...

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Nanny your photos of the hummingbirds are precious! Sadly we don't see them here. My sister has so many that come to her backyard in Arizona and I feel in love with them on a visit. Since then I've collected little hummingbird items.

grammy said...

so sweet
who does not love a hummingbird???
very interesting facts
I wonder where they were...who checks on the life of a hummingbird anyway??? Do they wear tiny little cameras so we can see their flight...whoever watched it would be dizzy (o:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Aren't hummngbirds just amazing, Nanny... We have a bunch here also. I have 3 feeders and am constantly filling one or more of them.

Hugs,
Betsy

Joycee said...

We had a lot early on this summer, then they just disappeared. I kept the feeder out and now I have one or two come during the day...odd. Sorry you had trouble leaving a post yesterday, sooooo irritating to write a long comment to see it evaporate in thin air. I went in and removed my word authorization (the jumbled word you have to type) hoping this will encourage more comments. I think it's to prevent spam so I'll just have to see how it goes. Have a great weekend!

Mary said...

They really are fascinating, Nanny. Your photos are amazing. I also enjoyed the background information you shared with us. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary