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Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Facts

Some interesting facts about the Ruby-throated Hummingbird:

  • Nectar drawn from flowers provides only part of the hummingbird's food. Spiders and insects, often seized from the same plants, round out the diet.
  • The Ruby-throated Hummingbird can be found in gardens and open woodlands from the Atlantic coast to the eastern edge of the Great Plains.
  • Birds return to the same nesting area each year. The female alone builds the nest, between March, and usually rears two broods of two chicks each.
  • Nests are cup shaped and less than two inches across. They usually straddle a small crotch on a down-sloping branch, and are lined with downy plant fibers bound together with spider web and camouflaged with moss and lichens. Hummingbirds are scarce in some areas because high levels of air pollution destroy these lichens used in nest building.
  • This bird's wings beat 55 to 75 times per second. This high-speed flight means that the bird must perch frequently to save energy.

Reference: Bird Talk 1995

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