The only eastern hummer seen regularly in the summer, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is often easily overlooked due to its small size and is often found around the forest edges, in parks and buzzing around gardens. Most winter in the tropics, so summer is your best bet for spotting one. Adult males have an iridescent ruby throat, which may almost appear black in certain lights with a white chest, green sides and a small tail. Females are mostly green with white chest, minus the ruby throat of their male counterpart. Hummingbirds hover at flowers sipping nectar and will readily feast at hummingbird feeders, often defending their favorite ones with vigor and bravado!
Unlike most birds that may prefer different types of seeds, hummingbirds prefer one thing and one thing only – sweet nectar. Natural sources include flowering plants such as Delphinium, Savlia, Bee Balm, Columbine and Trumpet Vine. If planting’s not your thing, Wild bird Center’s Pure Hummer Sugar is the perfect balance of sweetness, sure to attract these beautiful and tiny birds to your backyard hummer feeders. Simply add water, mix and pour into your feeder.
Hummingbirds not only consume half their weight in food each day, they also need to feed five to eight times an hour to get their fill. Wild Bird Centers carry a large and diverse stock of hummingbird feeders. Looking to attract several hummers? Try hanging more than one feeder (hummers are drawn to the color red) in your yard but make sure they are not too close together. Hummingbirds are territorial and will defend their favorite feeder. You may seem them ‘battling’ it out with their sporadic zig zag movements and mouse-like, twittering squeaks. Beautiful, functional or whimsical, hummingbird feeders add great color and fun to your backyard in their various shapes, sizes and materials. Hang a bunch of different ones and see who stops in for a visit. A note on cleaning: as hummingbird feeders are glass or plastic and filled with nectar, it’s important to clean them every few days to keep the sugar water fresh.
Hummingbird nests are not much bigger than a ping pong ball. The female makes the nest of tiny bits of leafy material and weaves it all together with spider silk. A hummingbird will not use a bird house but they will forage for nesting materials. We carry a nice selection to cushion the nest and provide warmth and comfort for baby hummers. Hang these objects in nearby trees and watch as they may sweep in and grab some. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds typically lay two white eggs that are incubated in 11-16 days. The first flight typically occurs around the 20-22 day mark for the babies.
Did You Know?
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only hummer east of the Plains.
Ants love sugar just as much as hummingbirds. Install an ant moat above your feeder to catch these pesky critters and keeps your feeders ant-free.