Hummingbirds are very small birds and they have a high metabolism. A great deal of energy is spent flying, so they must feed almost constantly. Hummingbirds can consume up to 50% of their weight in sugar (nectar solution) each day. They usually feed on nectar and insects. Hummingbirds actually lap up the nectar with their tongues. A lot of people think hummingbirds’ tongues are hollow, like a straw. Their tongues do have grooves on the sides that collect nectar, and when the bill constricts, the hummingbirds can swallow the nectar from flowers and feeders.
Welcome to my Hummingbird tips and informationsite, as featured at FineLiving.com. On this site you will find information on Hummingbird feeder care, tips for attracting Hummingbirds to your yard, great tips on preventing bees and ants atyour Hummingbird feeders, and my recipe for preparing Hummingbirdnectar that your Hummingbirds will truly love.In addition, you will find a great selection of Hummingbird feederswith the best prices on the Internet. Ihave found that this is the best recipe for making your own nectar-Ifeel the birds prefer it over the various instant mixes. Most of the above information can befound in The Hummingbird Book by Donald and Lillian Stokes. Publishedby Little, Brown and Company. (ISBN 0-316-81715-5)
The flight of hummingbirds is amazing to watch. They are able to fly up, down, forward, backward and sideways. They can stop in midair. Hummingbirds are famous for their aerial display. Some displays are courtship displays; other displays are aggressive. Hummingbirds fly great distances when they are migrating. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird migrates approximately 600 miles across the Gulf of Mexico. Hummingbird song During nesting season the females are probably busy nesting. Once the babies have hatched, the hummingbirds are gathering a lot of insects to feed their babies, so they probably aren’t spending a lot of time at the feeder.
While it had been believed that hummingbirds drink via capillary action, high-speed photography has revealed that a hummingbird’s tongue’s tubes open down their sides, and close around nectar. Hummingbirds do not spend all day flying, as the energy cost would be prohibitive; the majority of their activity consists simply of sitting or perching. Hummingbirds eat many small meals and consume as much as twelve times their body weight in nectar each day. Hummingbirds digest their food rapidly due to their small size and high metabolism; a mean retention time (MRT) of less than an hour has been reported.
Never use honey or artificial sweeteners! Honey ferments easily, and cancause sores in a hummers mouth. Artificial sweeteners have no foodvalue. DO NOT use red food coloring in yoursolution, as this could be harmful to your hummers. No testing has beendone on the effects dye has on birds. Most feeders have red on them andthat should be enough. Thebest way to prevent ants at your feeder is to use an “ant guard”. Anant guard is a barrier between the ants and the nectar. These guardsare built into many feeders but are also available as an add-on accessory for existing feeders.