There is something surreal about watching a tiny hummingbird flying left, right, up, down and hover in place. They wings beat so quickly so can’t see them while in flight. Hummingbirds are a great way to teach your children about caring for an animal without bringing one indoors.
The primary source of food for a hummingbird is nectar which comes from deep within certain flower. It provides high energy for their rapid flight. They also eat small insects like gnats, aphids, beetles and spiders.
If possible, it is helpful to provide hummingbirds with nectar in your yard so they don’t have to go to hundreds of flowers to feed. Use clear nectar as red nectar may cause them harm. Their feeders must be cleaned regularly to avoid mildew growing in the nectar. If a hummingbird finds a dirty feeder, they most likely will not return. If they find a regular supply of clean nectar and a safe habitat, they will make your yard a regular stop. If you’re lucky, you will get a mother to nest in your yard. She must feel safe and have a regular supply of food.
You might be surprised to hear about how hummingbirds sleep. They enter a hibernation-like state called torpor to reserve fuel. Their heart-beat slows down considerably and their body temperature drops. They can also go into a state of torpor when they can’t reach food due to a storm. Hummingbirds stay so still during torpor that they almost appear dead.
If you would like to attract hummingbirds, plant some of the flowers that attract them like fuchsia, hibiscus, monarda or zinnias. You can also provide a water source as they enjoy bathing.
If you are just getting started, I recommend the CentiMom Three Pound Hummingbird Kit. It will give you everything you need except for the feeder. You will have all the supplies needed and even a book on Hummingbirds to learn more.
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