gardenchatter

Garden adventures and advice…

Hummingbirds

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Hummingbirds amaze me.

Have you ever seen them dance and play through the light shower that the sprinkler provides? Every time we water, there they are – swiftly spinning and flying through the drops, sparkling in the sunlight and enjoying their quick bath. I guess bird baths are typically too deep for them so perhaps this is how they get around it??

The ruby-throated is what spends the summer in our yard each year, and they have remained close by again this summer. Three or four times a day they make their rounds from plant to plant and stop by the patio table to hover for a second or two, as if saying hello, before they fly off to the next bright flower.

A few interesting ruby-throated facts:

– They beat their wings roughly 55 times per minutes.

– It’s short legs prevent it from walking or hopping (answers the bird bath quandry!). The best they can do is shuffle along a perch. It scratches it’s head and neck by raising a foot up and over its wing.

– They prefer to feed on red or orange flowers. Like many birds, they have good color vision and can see into the ultraviolet spectrum, which we cannot (However, the one that came to visit pictured above seems to be quite happy with large, pink zinnias).

– They also catch insects in midair or pull them out of spider webs.

They’ll soon be heading south, to warmer climates for the winter season, so as the summer blooms begin to fade, remember to keep the hummingbird feeder full to give them plenty of food and energy for the long flight!

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Author: gardenchatter

I'm a Horticulturalist, Master Gardener and member of the Garden Writers Association who enjoys playing in the dirt and experimenting with different veggies, plants and flowers in my Zone 5 garden. Check out my website http://www.wowmygarden.ca With a recent addition of a greenhouse, my newest passion is growing-your-own. And what fun that is. Yes, there's the odd failure, but there's nothing quite as satisfying as walking through the veggie patch collecting dinner.

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