Last weekend a migrant hummingbird visited the backyard on his journey north. You could tell he was a migrant because he was really hungry and he didn’t zip around like hummingbirds usually do. He seemed very grateful for the nectar that my coral honeysuckle provided.
Now is the time that Ruby-throated Hummingbirds make their perilous passage from the Yucatan peninsula across the Gulf of Mexico. Can you image flying that distance nonstop? The birds fly it alone, too! 250 miles with no place to land or refuel. No wonder they are hungry when they arrive in Florida.
This was a beautiful male hummingbird, whose throat gleamed so brightly in the sunlight that he almost looked bright pink instead of red. After nectarine he sat in the honeysuckle and rested.
See how his throat gleams bright red when the light catches it? Just gorgeous!
After a while he started preening and shaking out his feathers. It never ceases to amaze me how much detail my Beast can capture from these tiny birds. This guy is only about 3 inches long!
Look carefully at his beak above and you’ll see his tongue extended out in front of him. My mom and I decided that he was sending a message to my dad, haha!
This is a great time to put out a hummingbird feeder in Florida if you want to improve your chances of seeing our migrant visitors. A simple red feeder with sugar water is great for them — there’s no need to add red food coloring, which can actually hurt the birds. Don’t forget to change the water every couple of days. They will appreciate the extra energy and you can enjoy watching them zip around. One word of caution, though: putting out bird feeders may cause you to spend a lot of time glued to your window! ;-)