ABC Bird of the Week:  Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-throat weighs less than a nickel but, like other hummers including the Calliope and Mangrove, is a master of flight. Beating its wings 60 to 80 times a second, the bird creates a blur of motion and a whirring, insect-like sound. It’s easy to mistake one for a bee at first glance.

Many people are familiar with this bird, but fewer know that it migrates as far away as Central America, where it can be found overwintering on shade coffee farms. That’s another reason to drink shade-grown, organic, Bird Friendly coffee.

Ruby-throats fly straight and fast, but can also hover in place and move up, down, or even backwards. These little birds migrate vast distances to their wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America, many crossing the Gulf of Mexico in one marathon flight.

They expend a great deal of energy during flight, so hummingbirds must feed almost constantly, consuming up to half of their weight in sugar each day. They feed mainly on flower nectar, preferring red or orange tubular flowers such as trumpet creeper, cardinal flower, jewelweed, and bee-balm…

(read more: American Bird Conservancy)

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