Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds begin migrating into Michigan mid-April and by Mother’s day they have probably settled into their nesting territories.
If you haven’t put your feeder up, what are you waiting for? It’s not
too late! Hummingbirds don’t need your feeder to survive, but they might
appreciate a reliable source of food with this cold spring we’ve been
experiencing. Also these incredible little birds are fascinating to
watch and a hummingbird feeder can bring them up close.
Only about 50% of all hummers survive their first year. Cold weather
takes a toll on all hummer species because their high-energy
requirements don’t allow them to go without food for long.
When they aren’t at the feeder, hummingbirds find nectar from a variety
of flowers as well as sap from trees. Throughout the day a hummer drinks
more than half its body weight in nectar. But that pointy hummingbird
bill isn’t only for sipping nectar; it’s also made for snatching bugs
out of the air.
When a hummingbird goes for an insect, it rushes at it with its mouth
wide open, and the lower half of its bill can bend downward, even though
it has no joint. But they're so fast it takes a camera that films 500
frames a second to capture the move.
PBS’s Nature produced an interesting documentary that explains how these tiny birds survive. You can watch the full episode, Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air, online at: http://video.pbs.org/video/1380512531/