The Humming Bird. The Hummingbird Garden

Beauty in Miniature

Perky little Ruby Throated Hummingbird at a Feeder. It may look Delicate but it is capable of amazing feats of migration.
Perky little Ruby Throated Hummingbird at a Feeder. It may look Delicate but it is capable of amazing feats of migration.
Drinking nectar from a Sunflower
Drinking nectar from a Sunflower
Another satisfied Visitor to a garden feeder.Make sure the Feeder is immaculately clean.
Another satisfied Visitor to a garden feeder.Make sure the Feeder is immaculately clean.
Hummingbirds show a preference for Red Flowers. (Plastic or otherwise!)
Hummingbirds show a preference for Red Flowers. (Plastic or otherwise!)
The Hummingbirds Beak is adapted for probing into flowers to seek Nectar.
The Hummingbirds Beak is adapted for probing into flowers to seek Nectar.
Hovering Hummingbird, the only bird able to Fly Backwards!.....All photos courtesy Flickr.
Hovering Hummingbird, the only bird able to Fly Backwards!.....All photos courtesy Flickr.

The Amazing Little Hummingbird.

I had never seen a Hummingbird before I moved to the USA. That is not surprising as they are a strictly American bird with over 300 separate species. Some species like the Ruby Throated are migrants and travel from Mexico;s Yucatan Peninsular to Florida or Texas. This is an amazing 500 mile journey.takes between 18 to 23 hours. In order to carry out this feat, the little bird weighing only 3.25 grammes gorges on insects and nectar to put on a layer of fat to sustain it for the journey. When it arrives it weighs only2.5 grammes. Another surprise was learning that these tough little birds eat insects and fight to defend their territory.

Many types of Hummingbird are strongly hefted to a certain area and even nest in the same tree from year to year. This is known as philopatry. Each type sports a different flight pattern. The family name for the species is Trochilidae.

The Hummingbird feeder made of red plastic is a good way to encourage hummingbirds to your garden. It is very important to ensure that the feeder is scrupiously clean before you fill it with nectar. Many hummingbirds die of botulism and other diseases by drinking contaminated nectar. Only granulated cane sugar should be used in the feeder as brown sugar contains iron which will also kill them.

The hummingbird prefers red flowers so planting red flowers is an encouragement. Our local ones love the hedge draped with Japanese honeysuckle and the beautiful Canadian Red Buds that we called the Judas Tree in England. The penstemon is another favourite, they also like lobelia.

There is a website that lists suitable plants for attracting Hummingbirds to your garden http://cubits.org/hummingbirdgardening/db/hummingbirdplants/index.php This site is quite comprehensive and is managed so that people can add to it themselves.

Having these little Hummingbirds adds an exciting dimension to the garden. I also encourage butterflies to make a pretty paradise full of interesting inhabitants. My hub about butterfly gardens has plants that will encourage Hummingbirds too, check it out. Hopefully you will get lots of beautiful visitors throughout the warmer months. Enjoy

The Amazing World of the Hummingbird

humming bird paraphenalia

Dear little Nests

The usual two white Eggs in their cosy nest.
The usual two white Eggs in their cosy nest.
Fledglings in a nest lined with Down and made of Lichen and Bark heid together with Spider's Webs......All Photos courtesy of Flickr.
Fledglings in a nest lined with Down and made of Lichen and Bark heid together with Spider's Webs......All Photos courtesy of Flickr.

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Comments 64 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

You are so lucky to see these beautiful birds. Thank you for sharing.


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

"That is not surprising as they are a strictly American bird" - Racism is all prevalent I am afraid. Shame!

"This is known as philopatry" -Well, since they speak Greek I shall be more lenient towards them.

"Each type sports a different flight pattern" - I should think so!!! As a pilot myself i have to register a flight plan with the Control Tower every time I take off, so why should others be any different? Sometimes I do not understand your frivolity in such serious matters, GW!!!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Hello hello, they are a delight to see in the garden. Thanks for coming by.


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

A beautiful hub!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Dimitris, I thought you'd like the Greek touch! As for filing flight plans,I don't think they can hold pens with their little tiny wings.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for popping by Michael.


carredsal profile image

carredsal 6 years ago from New Jersey

Great hub! I love Hummingbirds. I'm waiting for mine to come up the east coast.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hope you get better weather soon! Thanks for dropping by.


Jamiehousehusband profile image

Jamiehousehusband 6 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

Hi again Gypsy Willow - lovely photos, I have never seen a hummingbird but would love to. Find this hub and butterfly garden one so relaxing. I've been dealing with other forms of nature today who have taken over my garden - uninvited moles.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Jamie, thanks for coming by again. You can trap moles with a 2 lb jam jar. Wear gloves and gently dig into their run. Put two big earthworms in the bottom of the jar and let it into the run so that the neck is under the level of the run. Replace the sod on top and wait. Check next day. Take the mole a long way from home and let it go. There used to be Mole hunters. I wrote about it in my hub on the Magic Childhood, check it out. Good luck with the moles.


hypnodude profile image

hypnodude 6 years ago from Italy

Wonderful pictures, wonderful hub. Rated up.:)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks hypnodude. I appreciate your comment and the rating up!


Victoria Dubois profile image

Victoria Dubois 6 years ago from Temple Terrace, Florida

Beautiful article. I am trying to attract Hummingbirds to my back yard.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Victoria thanks for coming by. Hope you succeed with these delightful birds. Just seeing them lifts one's spirits.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

Absolutely beautiful! My brother has a hummingbird garden and I absolutely love it. I'd love to have one myself, but I think that even if I could get one going the dogs would chase them off. They definitely don't accept the presence of anything coming into the yard that they wouldn't like to eat. :-D

Thanks!

Kaie


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Kaie, not difficult to make a hub abut hummingbirds beautiful. We are very blessed to have them around. I was amazed to read about them and discover how tough they really are. Thanks for coming by!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

I used to see hummingbirds on the property where I spent the latter half of my childhood, they are so amazing. The noise their wings make sounds like a miniature series of sound barrier breaking pops, almost disturbing to the ear until you learn what makes the noise. Then you learn to rush to the window if you're inside or look behind you if you're outside. They seem almost fearless they get so close in pursuit of their fuel.

I love the video, it captures the way their wings generate lift both ways, in a similar fashion to the Bumblebee. Thanks for an intriguing article again.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks Alexander, they are amazing birds being able to fly backwards makes them very special. Glad you came by.


rebu profile image

rebu 6 years ago from Coorg,India

hii..WOW.....these humming birds are amazing!!! what a wonderful creation by god!..i wish i would be a humming bird and hv a trip all over the world...Thnx for sharing...


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi again rebu, these little birds are quite amazing, sadly you won't see them in India as they only live in America. Thanks for the comment.


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

Gypsy Willow

Great pictures and intesting info.

I see many hummingbirds in my yard, and they are great to watch.

Interesting, when they get close to you, they sound as loud as a helicopter.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for the visit Mr. Duck. I love watching them too. They love our honeysuckle hedge. They even drink in midair at the fountain. Wonderful creatures!


LaquandaKleno profile image

LaquandaKleno 6 years ago

What do you suggest is the best way to attract hummingbirds to the garden? I hear that bright red feeders are effective. I found one online that looks like it’s really easy to clean and fill. Thoughts?

http://www.birdfeeders.com/store/hummingbird-feede...


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

That design is easy to fill but not easy to clean as I had one myself. There are others on the market that are easier to clean which is the most important thing. Not all places in America have hummingbirds so I hope you won't be disappointed..


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

We have them in our garden each year as we have honeysuckle and also a hummingbird shrub planted. All of the other flowering plants also attract many butterflies. Our birdbath and birdhouse provides other activities to view. Thus we have plenty of winged creatures to watch and enjoy.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

I always feel a frisson of excitement when a hummingbird graces us with a visit. Today one was picking insects out of the newly dug vegetable plot. Aren't we lucky to have such beauty around us? Thanks for the visit Peggy


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

I have an abiding love for hummingbirds. What beautiful creatures they are. Thank you for this pleasure.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit James. Thanks for dropping by. I actually heard one twitter yesterday as he hovered near me, quite a thrill.


I am DB Cooper profile image

I am DB Cooper 6 years ago from Whereabouts unknown at this time

I used to live near a field that seemed to be a hummingbird hangout. I miss them at my new place, they are so fascinating to watch.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

I love to watch them too. Always something new to observe. This morning one was bathing in the spray from the watering system while on the wing! Thanks for dropping by DB.


tritrain profile image

tritrain 5 years ago from United States

Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds....my beloved pollinators.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Aren't they the best. We are so lucky to have them. Thanks for dropping by.


lxxy profile image

lxxy 5 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

Hummingbirds are fascinating little critters.

Especially considering how much they consume--constantly flapping those wings is expensive! Knowing now more exact measurements, these little guys take the cake in weight fluctuation--I bet Hollywood is jealous!

I'll be sure to plant some red soon. :)


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Good for you Ixxy. I didn't realise that hummingbirds eat insects. I observed them in the veggie patch dealing with some of the pesky critters that attack the crops. If I venture into the garden wearing red I often get hovered around by them. I love them!


shakerdom 5 years ago

God's supreme genius


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

They are genius personified! Thanks for reading.


daffodil2010 profile image

daffodil2010 5 years ago

it is so cute :) thanks for sharing.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you for the visit daffodil. I appreciate your comment


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

I have a very big love for humming birds always have. Your are very lovely here. Thanks for sharing!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

They are miraculous little birds aren't they? Thanks for the visit.


Bingo Online 5 years ago

It feels great to know that there are social organizations doing corporate social responsibility towards others. I hope this run through and thrive as well for the benefit of those who lack shelters. This shouldn't happen only winter season, whereas every season must be a Christmas feeling.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi BIngo Online, thanks for your kind comment but maybe you also read my hub

Homeless living on the streets of our town?


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

Thanks for your interesting hub on humming birds Gypsy Willow. I have been intrigued by these fast and beautiful birds since having a cabin. I have a bird feeder at home that keeps them coming back. Thanks for the tips on keeping them clean. I need to get better about that :-0


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Minnetonka Twin I'm so glad you get to enjoy them at your cabin, they are so beautiful. We do owe it to them to keep their feeders clean! Thanks for dropping by..


platinumOwl4 profile image

platinumOwl4 5 years ago

This is in fact one of the most fascinating species in nature. I love to see them we can learn a great deal from them.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Totally agree platinumOwl4, They never cease to amaze me. It was a surprise to learn that they eat insects.


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

Hi Gypsy Willow,

I grew up with Humingbirds in North Carolina. We use to have a feeder and we loved them so much. I don't see them in South Florida where I live.

Thank you for this enchanting article about Huming birds. It is the siple things that bring such joy into our lives.

JT


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

I do so agree JT but then I am a simple person and I find joy in simple things! Thanks for dropping by and your kind compliment.


KDee411 profile image

KDee411 4 years ago from Bay Area, California

Thank you for the great information on the Hummingbirds, I see my little friends every day but never knew they only live in America. I thought Japan. The name of my street is Hummingbird Road, we have the little green ones but I've never seen the others. I know they prefer the Red flowers. I have two hundred rose bushes and they only go for the red roses.

Yes Laquanna the red hummingbird feeders they love. Kay


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Aren't we lucky to have these sweet little birds to enjoy. Have you written about your roses? Thanks for coming by.


KDee411 profile image

KDee411 4 years ago from Bay Area, California

No roses yet Gypsy, I'm having a hard time getting my hubs on.I only have a iPad. As much as I love the Apple, I can't get pictures on. I have several poems ready and the first of many stories. My stories will be interesting to most people I think, but not all roses, that's for sure. The roses, those came later in my life and my roses may have just saved my life. I nearly died from the twinge in my life. hope you'll read my profile and follow me. Later Kay


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

That is dedication to write a hub on an iPad! Thanks for the reply.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 4 years ago from Oklahoma City

This hub would have been incomplete without the beautiful pictures you've provided.

These little birds are a study in strength and diligence.

Voted up and SHARED.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thank you for reading my hub L.L.. These tiny birds are a miracle. I love to watch them and until I wrote about them I didn't know much about their life style and that insects formed an important part of their diet.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Had no idea these little gems were USA limited. We are so lucky. Anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of see them defy just about every law of nature to fly and hover will not believe their eyes when they DO get the treat. So much in this hub I didn't know. They can be agressive so watch yourself when your feeder does start attracting them. Has anybody else been hummingbird buzzed?


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Hi Kathleen, thanks for visiting the Hummingbird Garden. I was buzzed by one when I was in the garden before breakfast in a red dressing gown. They are such amazing creatures. Glad you like my hub.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Hummingbirds are just amazing and mind boggling. They also fly up to New York (the ruby throated). Every April I scrub up the feeders to get read for them. (I wrote a hub about them too.)

This hub is a nice tribute to the hummingbird.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks tillsontitan. I shall go and read your hub. They are mind boggling and so beautiful. Hope you are ok up there.


alexadry profile image

alexadry 3 years ago from USA

I used to have them in Mo, and now that I'm in Arizona, I 'm going to try and see if I can attract some in my yard. Great hub!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Good luck! They are such a wonderful bird to welcome to your garden and bring good cheer. They are so tiny and so beautiful. I never tire of watching them. Thanks for your kind comment.


L.L. Woodard profile image

L.L. Woodard 3 years ago from Oklahoma City

It is so exciting to me when I catch a glimpse of a hummingbird. They move so quickly and are so small that the opportunity to see one seems like a mini-miracle.

Great hub; voted up and Shared.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks for dropping by l.l.Woodard. They are very active in my garden now. They are pretty territorial so I usually only get to see one at a time. One of Natures marvels!


platinumOwl4 profile image

platinumOwl4 3 years ago

This is one of the most fascinating species in nature as for as I am concerned, ranked along with the African miniature elephant. Spectacular article.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand Author

Thanks platinum Owl. I was in the garden early wearing red and I heard a loud drumming, it was a humming bird right next to my head. Amazing experience.

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