Hi everyone and here we are with today’s bird, the tiny “ruby-throated hummingbird”. We will have two posts with this bird, the male today, pictured above at my hummingbird feeder and the female tomorrow. The male and female spend very little time together so doing 2 posts seemed a good idea. This species of hummingbird is the only one that breeds in the eastern half of Canada and the US. Here in Canada it breeds much further west though than in the US going right to the Rocky Mountains. They winter in central America and return to Canada usually in May, in our area around mid May. Males return first and pick out a territory and they always return to the same place each year. They are amazing tiny birds about 3 to 3 3/4 inches (7.5 to 9cm) from the tip of it’s bill to it’s tail. The males throat patch can appear ruby red, orange or jet black depending on the light. They beat their wings about 55 to 75 times per second and can fly at top speed and suddenly stop then change direction in mid air. They can fly forwards, backwards, sideways, up and down and upside down. They don’t flap their wings up and down like other birds, but in a figure eight design, this helps give them uplift on both the down and up stroke of the wings. I have tried to capture this and show my efforts for both the male and female. It isn’t an easy thing to do! Once the pair have mated the male takes off on his own and doesn’t help with nest building or looking after the young.
Back tomorrow with more on this amazing bird. Have a wonderful day and God bless!
Steve and Muffin.
©2021 Steve McLeod.