Hummingbirds

A:

Hummingbirds have a diet consisting mainly of tree sap, flower nectar, pollen and insects. Hummingbirds are extremely active and must eat food several times a day. These birds have a long tapered bill that allows for them to extract nectar from the middle of long tubular flowers.

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  • What is the diet of a hummingbird?

    Q: What is the diet of a hummingbird?

    A: Hummingbirds have a diet consisting mainly of tree sap, flower nectar, pollen and insects. Hummingbirds are extremely active and must eat food several times a day. These birds have a long tapered bill that allows for them to extract nectar from the middle of long tubular flowers.
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  • When do hummingbirds migrate?

    Q: When do hummingbirds migrate?

    A: Most hummingbirds in America and Canada spend the winter in Mexico or South America before migrating to their breeding ground in southern U.S. as early as February or the first week of March. Some South American hummingbird species also travel north to the tropics during the southern winter.
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  • How fast do hummingbirds fly?

    Q: How fast do hummingbirds fly?

    A: Hummingbirds can fly at an average speed of roughly 25 to 30 miles per hour and can dive at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. These tiny birds can flap their wings approximately 70 times per second during normal flight and around 200 times per second when they are diving.
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  • What kind of food do you put in a hummingbird feeder?

    Q: What kind of food do you put in a hummingbird feeder?

    A: The type of food you put in a hummingbird feeder is called nectar, which can be made at home. Simply add 1/4 cup of sugar per 1 cup of water.
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  • How do hummingbirds reproduce?

    Q: How do hummingbirds reproduce?

    A: Although hummingbirds are usually solitary and fiercely territorial, males seek out females and perform elaborate courtship dances to get the females to accept them. After mating, the male leaves the female to build a nest, incubate the eggs and feed the young.
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  • What are key factors to hummingbird identification?

    Q: What are key factors to hummingbird identification?

    A: Key factors to hummingbird identification include appearance, behavior and territory. Aspects of appearance that bird watchers need to keep an eye out for are throat color and markings, eye markings, bill color and curvature, plumage coloration, tail characteristics, and body shape and size.
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  • How long do hummingbirds live?

    Q: How long do hummingbirds live?

    A: The average lifespan for a hummingbird is only about three to four years. While most hummingbirds die in their first year, some have been known to survive for up to ten years or more.
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  • What do hummingbirds eat?

    Q: What do hummingbirds eat?

    A: Hummingbirds eat a combination of nectar from flowers and small flying insects. Nectar is the more widely known and understood hummingbird food. Scientists have noted that the shape of the birds' bills and tongues are highly adapted to reaching deep within the recesses of flowers to retrieve nectar. However, as nectar is poor in everything but calories, hummingbirds make up the nutritional deficit by consuming bugs.
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  • How do you make hummingbird food?

    Q: How do you make hummingbird food?

    A: Hummingbird nectar is made by combining four parts water with one part white table sugar, slowly heating the solution for one or two minutes and then allowing it to cool, according to About.com. This mixture provides an accurate replication of natural sucrose from flowers. It is easy to digest, nutritious and provides hummingbirds with necessary energy and calories.
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  • Can you keep a hummingbird as a pet?

    Q: Can you keep a hummingbird as a pet?

    A: Although it is possible, keeping a hummingbird as a pet is illegal in many areas, including the United States. Because they are wild animals, they do not make good pets.
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  • Where do hummingbirds live?

    Q: Where do hummingbirds live?

    A: Hummingbirds live in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean Islands. They live in habitats that contain abundant insects, plants with nectar, water and safe places for building nests. These habitats in the Western Hemisphere include suburban backyards, gardens, desert scrublands, canyons, various forests, meadows, grasslands, marshes and tropical jungles.
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  • What flowers can you plant to attract hummingbirds?

    Q: What flowers can you plant to attract hummingbirds?

    A: Bee balm, delphinium, butterfly bush, Rose of Sharon and honeysuckle attract hummingbirds. Contrary to popular belief, flowers do not need to be red to attract hummingbirds.
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  • Q: When do hummingbirds start migrating south?

    A: In North America, hummingbirds begin migrating south in late August or mid-September. A few hummingbirds may begin migrating south as early as July. Hummingbirds that travel very long distances between their summer and winter feeding grounds start migrating earlier than other birds.
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  • Q: When do you remove hummingbird feeders?

    A: Removing a hummingbird feeder is done at the owner's discretion, as migratory hummingbirds native to the area migrate even if a feeder is present. Feeders that are left out for the winter may attract non-migratory hummingbirds or those migrating from other locations.
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  • Q: Where do hummingbirds sleep?

    A: Hummingbirds sleep on their favorite perching spots, such as on a feeder or on a high, secure location with enough visibility. Hummingbird sleep is notable because it is actually a form of hibernation called torpor, where the body expends about one-fifteenth of the energy it normally uses.
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  • Will hummingbirds eat seeds in a feeder?

    Q: Will hummingbirds eat seeds in a feeder?

    A: Hummingbirds do not eat from seed feeders but will drink nectar out of nectar feeders. Scientists discovered that hummingbirds do eat small insects from flowers but rely strongly on a high-sugar diet that includes nectar and tree sap.
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  • Where can you find a hummingbird tracking map?

    Q: Where can you find a hummingbird tracking map?

    A: A hummingbird tracking map can be found at Hummingbirds.net and Journey North. Hummingbirds.net tracks current migrations and provides information about 16 different species of hummingbirds and how to attract them. Hummingbird migration maps from previous years are also available for comparison and study.
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  • Q: How can you use a trumpet vine to attract hummingbirds?

    A: Trumpet vines are a hummingbird favorite and can be used in a landscape location that receives full sun to partial shade. The plant will bloom more profusely when located in an area that receives full sun.
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  • What are some plants that will attract hummingbirds?

    Q: What are some plants that will attract hummingbirds?

    A: Plants that attract hummingbirds include bee balm, catmint, lily, foxglove, petunia, lupine, desert candle, delphinium, flowering tobacco, salvia, yarrow and hollyhock. Many of the plant species that attract hummingbirds also attract butterflies and bees.
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  • Q: How to Build a Hummingbird Birdhouse?

    A: A hummingbird birdhouse can be constructed by placing a Y-shaped base, such as a forked branch from a bush or tree, in a high location and providing soft materials for the female hummingbird to begin making a nest with. As a rule, hummingbirds do not like using traditional birdhouses due to the confined environment, and are extremely particular about the location of their nest.
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  • Q: When should you put out hummingbird feeders?

    A: Location, climate and the birds' migratory habits determine the ideal time to put out feeders. In some areas, such as along the Pacific coast and the Southern Texas coast, you can offer year-round feeding, while hummingbirds only appear between February and June in other regions.
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