Posts Tagged ‘Hummingbirds’

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Adirondack animal babies: Nesting bluebirds, fawns, and loons

Since the time of my last column, I had two and a quarter inches of rain, which pushed many of my flowers to bloom and others to grow taller. The sweet peas are climbing the trellis about two inches a day. I guess the pellet fertilizer I gave them is working. The roses are covered with buds, and it looks like the plants are all coming up from the original plant, which is over twenty years old now.

My three trumpet vine honeysuckle vines are covered with blooms, which the hummers like. I fenced in my queen of the forest today (June 12) as the doe which dropped her fawn in the driveway yesterday, was munching close to that plant at daylight this morning.

I also put a fence around my cup plant (not because the deer eat it,) but when it gets to be six feet tall, the stems of the plant will not hold it up, so the fencing keeps it upright as it blooms. The bees love this plant and when it goes to seed, the warblers and goldfinch feed on the bugs and seeds from the flowers. Two Fall seasons ago, I caught six different warbler species feeding in the plant in two days.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, May 30, 2022

The Remarkable Migration and Solitary Lifestyle of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is the only hummingbird species commonly seen in northern New York. Like all hummingbirds, they belong to the avian family Trochilidae. They’re our region’s smallest breeding bird, only growing to about 3 inches long, with a wingspan of around 3 to 4 inches and a body weight of just 2 to 6 grams (roughly the weight of a teaspoon of sugar).
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Migration 
    The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is migratory. They return to the North Country every year starting in May. The first to arrive are usually males.
    When adequate flower sources and supplemental feeding are available, a small number of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds will spend the winter months in Florida, in areas along the southern extremes of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. But most of them will overwinter in Central America, between southern Mexico and western Panama. In both the spring and the fall, many of them travel a migration route that includes a difficult, sometimes punishing, non-stop flight of more than 500 miles across the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. By most accounts, the flyover takes 18 to 20 hours, under favorable conditions.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Poetry: Hummingbird Ballet

Hummingbird Ballet

Aerial ballet,
Allegro avian wings a-flutter,
Humming an accompaniment
For tiny body suspended in tremolo,
Sipping sweet sugar solution
From flowered feeders.
We suspend our disbelief,
For the micro moment you light,
And sip, savor, the pure grace
Of your miraculous presence.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

It’s Hummingbird Season

Adult Male Hummingbird courtesy Ian DaviesI’ve always been fascinated by ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris), the only hummingbird species to regularly breed in eastern North America.

They’re small hummingbirds with slender, slightly curved, black bills, fairly short wings that don’t reach all the way to their tails when sitting, and strikingly radiant iridescent feathers that change in intensity and hue, depending upon the light and your angle of view. All ruby-throated hummingbirds; males, females, and immature birds; flaunt bright emerald- or golden-green on their backs and crowns, with a dull white or pale gray breast. Only the male brandishes the intensely lustrous ruby-red throat for which they’re named. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Brains Over Brawn for Male Hummingbirds

Long-billed HermitThe following comes from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

When male animals compete over mates, it’s often a showy affair: think of elk tangling antlers or tom turkeys strutting and gobbling. But for a Costa Rican hummingbird, it seems mental prowess holds the edge over mere physical flamboyance.

New experiments show that dominant male Long-billed Hermits have better spatial memories and sing more consistent songs than less successful males, according to research published this month in the journal Scientific Reports. The benefit of a good spatial memory even outweighs the advantages of bigger body size and extra flight power. » Continue Reading.



Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!