Hummingbirds Return from Southern Winter Homes
Prepare for your neighborhood to be all abuzz, because hummingbirds have been spotted throughout the area. These miniature marvels have been migrating between North and Central America for hundreds of years, a round trip in which millions of hummingbirds instinctively participate.
For the next few months, backyards around the area will be playing host to these amazing, food-frenzied birds. They possess the fastest metabolism of any animal on the planet, burning through between one to two times their body weight in food every day.
Hummingbirds differ from other birds in a variety of ways. They have weak feet and legs that are used more for perching than walking. They are most comfortable in the air, and they are capable of hovering as well as flying up, down, forward and backward.
According to research, hummingbirds hold the record for possessing the fastest metabolism of any animal on the planet. Hummingbirds can consume up to twice their body weight in nectar every day. In order to accomplish this amazing feat, hummingbirds’ bills and tongues have evolved into incredibly efficient feeding tools. Despite popular belief, hummingbirds do not suck up nectar with their bills. They actually lap it up with their tongues, drawing nectar from its source up and into their mouths almost 12 times a second.
Hummingbird nests are made of plant down, glued together with spider webs and tree sap. These nests are usually located on pencil-sized limbs and are camouflaged with bits of lichen.
Female hummingbirds raise their young alone. Due to the males’ extremely aggressive territorial behavior, females will establish a nesting area outside of the males’ feeding territory.
Hummingbirds will head back to Mexico and Central America in late summer, early fall.