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The Humming Bird. The Hummingbird Garden
Beauty in Miniature
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