1
WindStar Wildlife Institute
R
uby-throated hummingbirds
are the only hummingbirds to
nest east of the Mississippi. In
fact, you can find them in all
states in the eastern half of the
U.S. and all Canadian provinces
except British Columbia.
Plus, they are the only ones that
normally migrate, non-stop, 600
miles across the Gulf of Mexico.
This feat requires extra energy,
which the birds obtain by storing
fat, increasing their preflight
weight by 50 percent. They winter
in Mexico and Central America.
Migration northward normally
begins in February and the return
in late July.
Because they are so active,
hummingbirds have high calorie
needs. Their rapid flight is similar
to insects and unique to birds.
Instead of having wings with
several moveable joints, they have
only one joint, at the shoulder. This
permits them to fly with more
flexibility, with their upstroke just
as powerful as their down stroke.
They can hover and fly forward and
backward.
For many of us, the hard work
that goes into creating and
maintaining our wildscapes and
flower gardens pays off when we
are able to attract hummingbirds
and observe them.
There are two ways to attract
them to your property - plant
flowers, shrubs, and trees that
produce nectar over a long period
of time, or put out sugar water
feeders.
The wildflowers that seem to
attract the most hummingbirds
are red or orange. They include
blanket flower, butterfly weed,
Indian blanket or paintbrush, red
corn poppy, sweet William, swamp
milkweed, wild columbine, and bee
balm.
In the flower beds the favorites
are begonia, cardinal flower, coral
bells, dahlia, fuchsia, geranium,
impatiens, foxglove, nasturtium,
snapdragon, scarlet sage, petunia
and verbena. Azalea, lilac,
rhododendron, weigela, butterfly
bush, and honeysuckle are their
favorite shrubs. Flowering
crabapple, hawthorn, and locust
appear to be their favorite trees.
But, without a doubt, trumpet
vine is their favorite source for
Gardeners would probably put hummingbirds near the top
of the list of wildlife they would like to attract to their
backyards. Not only do the tiny birds complement the
beauty of the flowers, they are fascinating to watch.
Hummingbirds
Will Return If You
Provide Food

Hummingbirds:

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