Wildlife Lookout: The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Wildlife Lookout: The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Summer is the time of year that we can observe the many migratory birds that flock to breed in our area, including the unique hummingbird.

The most common found in our area is the Ruby-throated hummingbird, or Archilochus colubris. It has a metallic green back; males have a bright red throat, females have a white throat and belly. They can most often be found zipping around feeders or tubular flowers, ones that their beaks are designed perfectly for.

Fun Facts About Hummingbirds

On average, the hummingbird flaps its wings 12 – 80 times per second, depending on the species. Mating season also has an affect on this statistic, where the smallest birds can reach up to 100 beats per second. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird beats its wings about 53 times a second. The hummingbird can fly at speeds up to 34 mph on average, and it is the only bird with the ability to fly backwards. They are among the smallest of birds and include the worlds smallest bird, the Cuban Bee hummingbird, measuring 5 cm.

Hummingbird Feeder Care — Important for Their Safety!

Hummingbird feeders can be a lot of fun to have, sometimes attracting dozens of hummingbirds! But with this fun comes an important responsibility too.

During our hot Louisiana summers the sugar water used in feeders will quickly ferment, turning into an alcohol that is highly toxic to our tiny friends. It is important to clean and sterilize your feeders regularly. One trick is to not fill it so much that is has much time to sit. Food coloring can also be harmful to regular feeders and is unnecessary.

Learn more about this cool little bird: