Hummingbirds are fascinating! Growing up, we can all remembering somebody in our family discussing how to attract these amazing little birds into our own yards. As Kansans, we are fortunate to experience these wonderful birds during the spring and summer months. They are among the smallest of birds weighing up to 20 grams. The heart beats up to more than 1,200 times per minute when active! Because their wings rotate, it is the only bird that can fly forward , backward and hover in mid air. These little creatures can reach speeds upwards of 60 miles per hour!
If you should spot a “small or baby” hummingbird in your yard, chances are, it is probably a bumble bee or a hummingbird moth, a type of Sphinx Moth. Hummingbirds must be fully grown before they leave the nest.
Many myths have developed over the years about the hummingbird. Some people believe they sip or suck nectar because their 3/4 inch bill is like a long straw. They actually open the bill tip slightly and stick their tongue out and in rapidly.. about 3-5 times per second. Secondly, the hummingbird holds its legs closely to its body when in flight. Therefore, they have been mistaken to not have feet, which is untrue. Lastly, adding red food coloring to sugar water mix to get a hummingbird’s attention is, yet, another myth. By keeping your sugar water fresh, curious hummingbirds will eventually find and frequent your feeder, no matter what color it might be. Clean and refill the feeder at least once a week to prevent spoilage due to summer heat to keep the hummingbirds coming to your yard.