Male has red throat Female has white throat
WHAT DO THEY LOOK
LIKE? Hummingbirds are the worlds smallest birds. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only one that
lives in the eastern US and
WHAT DO THEY EAT? Hummingbirds (hummers) usually drink nectar (sugar water) from flowers. While the hummer is drinking the flowers nectar, some pollen sticks to the hummers chin. The pollen falls off at the next flower it visits, and PRESTO, the flower is pollinated, ready to make seeds! Flowers give food to hummers, and hummers help the flowers to make seeds. This natural cooperation is called symbiosis (sim-bee-O-sis). Hummingbird flowers are usually long, red, and skinny, to match the hummers long beak and tongue. But hummers need more than just sugar to survive. They also need protein. Thats why they eat small bugs inside flowers, and sometimes pick bugs out of spider webs for food. In early spring, before the flowers bloom, hummers will follow Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. These woodpeckers peck holes in trees to get sap. The hummer can lick the sap and eat the bugs around these holes!
HOW DO THEY FLY? Instead of flapping their wings like most
birds, hummers move their wings back and forth like a swimmer. This helps them hover, or hang in the same place in
the air. They can fly forwards, sideways, and
even backwards! Theyve been clocked at
speeds faster than 45 mph! The hummers that
RESOURCES:Dennis, John & Tekulsky, Mathew. How to Attract Hummingbirds and Butterflies. San Ramon, CA: Monsanto Company, 1991.
Stokes, Donald & Lillian. A Guide to Bird Behavior, Vol 3. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1989.
Stokes, Donald & Lillian. Hummingbird Book, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1989.
Terres, John K. The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds. New York: Random House. 1996.
Provided by the Pelotes Island Nature Preserve
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