Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Till next May!
We are ready to put our hummingbird feeder away for the winter. It's been so wonderful to be able to watch these amazing little creatures come to our door and feed on the nectar from the feeder. I had to remember to change the treats every day though, otherwise it turned into wine by the end of a hot summer day. And that taste, the tiny guests did not appreciate!
I got a "Birds of Pennsylvania" field guide, by Stan Tekiela. And that is such a helpful and informative, not overwhelming at all, but rather focused and easy guide to use with the girls! Full page photos are stunning, and the sections of the guide are color coordinated according to the coloration of the birds' feathers.
According to Stan's notes: The smallest bird in the state. Can hover, fly up and down, and is the only bird to fly backward. Does not sing, but will chatter or buzz to communicate. The wings create a humming noise, flapping 50-60 times each second or faster during chasing flights. The heart pumps an incredible 1,260 beats per minute, and it breathers 250 times per minute. (You try that!) Weighing just 2-3 grams, it takes about five average-sized hummingbirds to equal the weight of one chickadee. Constructs its nest with plant material and spider webs, gluing pieces of lichen on the outside for camouflage. Attracted to tubular red flowers.
In addition to that, I also have learned that it's a well observed fact that some of them manage to migrate to the warmer climates by hiding in the feathers of bigger birds, like swans and geese. So little, and so smart!
I was so thrilled to manage to take a quick photo of the hummingbird through the door screen. Otherwise, they are just too fast to even take a good glimpse at. All you could hear sometimes was a buzzing noise and a shadow flying away!