Creature Feature

Creature Feature – Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Posted by  //  June 18, 2018  //  Articles, Creature Feature

The tiny ruby-throated hummingbird is the only breeding hummingbird in eastern North America.  In sunlight, it’s brilliant, emerald-green plumage looks like metallic fish scales. Only the male birds have a bright red throat.  These amazing winged wonders are capable of zipping to and fro at incredible speeds, flying forwards, backwards and even hovering in place.  Perhaps you’ve been startled by a loud BUZZ when a hummingbird whizzed close by. They beat their wings about 53 times per second as they zip about in search of nectar sources.  They prefer sipping from tubular shaped, red and orange flowers, but you can also attract them with a hummingbird feeder filled with sugar-water. Ruby-throats are only here for our warm months.  By early fall, they migrate across the Gulf of Mexico to spend the winter in Central America. An incredible journey for such a tiny creature!

Here is the simple, 2-ingredient nectar recipe for your hummingbird feeder:

  • Use 1 part table sugar to 4 parts water; (red food coloring is NOT necessary)

  • Mix well and pour into your feeder; refrigerate any extra nectar

  • Hang the feeder somewhere visible and away from cats

  • Change the nectar frequently, before it gets cloudy, especially in hot weather, as the sugar water turns to toxic alcohol when it ferments.

Article & Photo by Margie Manthey

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