Sunday, September 15, 2013

Got Nectar?

Ruby Throated Hummingbirds are feeding heavily right now, adding weight for their flight south.  Ruby Throated hummers weigh less than a nickel and 1/2 of their weight is in the pectoral muscles of their breasts which are the muscles needed for flight.  While Hummingbirds frequent backyard feeders they prefer natural sucrose and small insects. It takes them about 20 minutes to digest the sucrose and they are 97% efficient at converting the sucrose to energy. Hummingbirds do not suck nectar through their beaks but lick the nectar with their raspy tongues.  Males begin the migration a few days before the females in order to establish their territories in the wintering and breeding sites.
Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird feeding in Jewelweed