Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are visiting our sugar-water feeder. These hummingbirds breed across eastern North America and winter in Central America. A few winter in southern Florida and southern Texas.

Females, like this one, are slightly larger than males (3.5 vs. 3 grams). Despite their size, many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds migrate nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico. Prior to this flight, birds may double their body mass by fattening on nectar and insects. Little is known, however, about the details of their migration. Ornithologists do not know much about the relative numbers of hummingbirds making trans-gulf migrations versus those that go around the gulf. Nor do we understand regional routes or precise wintering areas (Weidensaul et al. 2013).

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