The Travels of Tug 44

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, the only species of hummer seen in the North-Eastern USA, is the smallest birdie, not much larger then a bumblebee. This one is a male, as indicated by the red throat.   high-res

This one is a female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. The earn their living by lapping up nector from flowers, but they happily accept sugar water from feeders. The best mix to offer them is one cup of water with 1/4 cup of ordinary table sugar. Coloring is not needed.   high-res

This female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is guarding the feeder from any other hummers. In nature when they find a patch of tasty flowers, they will lap up all the nectar and then guard the flowers until more nectar is made.   high-res

This female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird shows off her tongue, which is extremely long so as to reach the nectar in trumpet flowers, one of their favorites.   high-res

This is a windy day, so this female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is flapping her wings to avoid being blown away.   high-res

I caught this female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird in flight, as she hovers over the feeder. For this photo, my shutter speed was 1/6400th sec.   high-res

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are extremely territorial, and fights break out constantly, particularly around the feeder. They are stunning fliers, they hover like helicopters and then suddenly fly at high speeds and can zig-zag the whole way.   high-res

Another territorial fight at the feeder between two female Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds.   high-res

The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, Mother Nature's tiny helicopter.

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