4 Fun Facts About The Broad-Tailed Hummingbird Species

The broad-tailed hummingbird is one of the most beautiful birds in the world. From their lovely appearance to their hovering stance, birdwatchers often plant floral bushes that attract these delicate creatures right to their windowsill. While you likely know a little bit about these well-known birds, these 4 fun facts will help you to get to know a little more about these beautiful delicate birds that maybe aren’t quite so delicate after all!

Broad Tailed Hummingbird Species

1. Broad-tailed birds periodically “hibernate” their body temperatures when its chilly out.

While the broad-tailed hummingbird species does not hibernate like a bear might… it still hibernates in its own way. When temperatures drop, the bird slows its body core from 54 Fahrenheit to 44 Fahrenheit to enter a slowed metabolic state. While it might not seem like a massive difference in body temperature, it is quite the feat. It is the equivalent of a human dropping their temperature from 98.6 Fahrenheit to a whopping 88.6 Fahrenheit!

2. Male broad-tails can be quite the assertive partner in the right conditions.

During mating season, nature does its best to ensure the survival of all species. The broad-tailed hummingbird is no different. In the thick of the mating season, male broad-tail hummingbirds are often known to pin down their female counterparts when they dive upon them in low lying vegetation.

3. They have been known to be quite resilient.

A banded bird was once captured and then released to track her migration as well as life span. This lucky bird was considered, at least to our best knowledge, the longest living of the broad-tailed hummingbird to date. Living at just under 13 years, this bird spent the last ten years of its life flying the skies of the same state she was banded in… lovely Colorado.

4. Male birds are both noisy and silent depending on the time of year.

The male broad-tailed bird is known for its vocal wings. In fact, the male bird possess a loud trill to their wings. As they fly through the sky this produces the classic hum that we have come to associate with hummingbirds. However, as their wingtips wear thin as the bird flies throughout the year, come midwinter the trill of their wings is inaudible. As the breeding season rolls back around, the broad-tail has once again grown new feathers and returned to its trademark noisy wings for a brand-new year.

Broad-tailed birds are one of the more common birds that watchers find right outside their window, however, their life isn’t all that common. From the way that their wings change throughout the year to the amazing resiliency of their tiny bodies and lifespan, with a second glance these delicate birds are quite the little warriors. Whether you are a longtime bird gazer or you are just now learning about all the ins and outs that make each species tick, with the right care and proper plants you can attract these lovely birds to your backyard for a lifetime… and learn all about how intriguing they are from up close.

Facts About The Calliope Hummingbird Species

The Calliope Hummingbird is the smallest bird in North America, measuring from 2.8 to 3.9 inches and weighing about one-tenth of an ounce, comparable to the weight of a ping pong ball. Even with wings spread wide, they’re only about 4 inches, wingtip to wingtip.

Calliope Hummingbird Species

5,000-Mile Yearly Migration
Tiny but mighty may be their motto as males defending their territory have been known to chase red-tail hawks. That great physical condition is the result of a 5,000-mile migration journey each year. The Calliope Hummingbird Species winters in Mexico and Central America returning each spring to nesting grounds in the high altitudes of the Cascade Mountains. The breeding range covers Idaho, western Montana, northern California, northwestern Nevada, the mountainous regions of Washington and Oregon and on into British Columbia in Canada.

Calliopes are the smallest long-distance migratory birds in the world. Their migration route is an oval, so they can be seen near the Pacific coast during the spring trek and down the spine of the Rockies in the autumn.

When migrating with other species of hummingbirds, they are not as brave as when defending their territory. The Calliope Hummingbird Species tends to sip nectar and feed on small bugs from flowers near the ground in order to avoid the bigger, aggressive hummingbirds. They can be enticed to gardens with brightly colored flowers or feeders. Calliopes tend to hover over flowers but are known to hover and perch at feeders.

Where To Find Calliopes
Birders will need to go high in the mountains during breeding season to find these tiny mites. However, the Calliope Hummingbird Species winters in both mountains and lowlands and may stray to lower altitudes along the migration route. They prefer scrubby brush near streams in open woodland and second growth, stands of Ponderosa pines and highland meadows. They often perch on bare branches at the top of a willow or alder tree. They may dart off to feed, but return to the same favorite perch.

Identifying Calliope Hummers
Like all hummingbirds, it is easier to identify a Calliope in the field by its actions because they dart so quickly that getting a good view with binoculars is difficult. Their tails and bills are short. They have green backs and crowns with a bronzy cast in sunlight. Their underparts are white. Females and immatures have a peachy wash over the white. Mature males have bright magenta streaks, or rays, from their beaks down their throats.

During courtship, a male hovers, dances and flares his magenta rays. He also performs a dazzling aerial show. He climbs 30-100 feet upward, then executes a steep U-shaped dive, popping and zinging at the bottom of the dive before ascending again.

Nesting And Family Time
Once the courtship is over, everything is left to the female. She builds a compact nest, usually in a conifer that is from 4,000 feet in altitude or higher to the treeline. She camouflages her nest with lichen before laying two white eggs. Incubation time is 15-16 days, and the babies are flying 18-21 days after they hatch. The oldest recorded Calliope Hummingbird is a female who was banded in Idaho, then recaptured 8 years and 1 month later in the same state.

Calliope Hummingbirds remain common in their range but are considered vulnerable because climate change is affecting their habitat.

Hummingbird Jewelry Gift Ideas

The hummingbird is one of the most unique and fascinating birds that there is due to its ability to move swiftly, change its direction suddenly and smoothly as well as seamlessly glide from one place to another. These spectacular creatures therefore often symbolize adaptability and great resilience while also keeping an optimistic and playful outlook on things.

Hummingbird Jewelry

Gifting someone who embodies these traits with some form of hummingbird jewelry gifts is therefore a great way to constantly remind the wearer of all the greatness they posses. Here we look at some amazing pieces to consider for that perfect gift.

1) 14K Yellow Gold Hummingbird Diamond Pendant

This beautiful yellow gold pendant is the perfect addition to any jewelry collection. Consisting of 10 white diamonds on the body and the wing of the hummingbird, they compliment the piece exquisitely. Offering just the right amount of sparkle, the stones and gold blend together perfectly, making it a great piece for the wearer. It comes in a beautiful blue presentation box which also adds to the wow factor of this magnificent piece of jewelry.

See more Hummingbird Gifts: http://www.hummingbirdsplus.org/gifts/

2) Sterling Silver Hummingbird Swarovski Elements Pendant Necklace

This sparkly necklace consisting of bluish-purple crystal gems is a lovely piece. The pendant which is embellished with shiny Swaronski gems that displays a hummingbird in flight and the sterling silver chain catch the light perfectly. The pendant also has dimension in the wings and body of the bird so it is not completely flat. Furthermore, it also has a pretty back when flipped over which adds to its uniqueness.

3) 925 Sterling Silver Beautiful Hummingbird Nature Pendant Necklace

Very cute and dainty, this necklace is sure to be loved by the recipient. The sterling silver hummingbird pendant is well detailed and a great size for necklace lovers. Coming with a sturdy 18” snake chain, this necklace is so lightweight, you will barely feel it around your neck. Sleekly packaged in a black velvet pouch, it provides you with the perfect gift presentation. Beautiful and delicate, this piece of jewelry is great for hummingbird lovers.

4) Hummingbird Necklace Best Friend Small Cameo Pendant Antique Brass Jewelry

Perfect for surprising your best friend with, this high quality and unique necklace has an antique brass color. Its pendant shows a hummingbird midflight amongst some flowers which is rather pretty. Coming with 2 chains, 16” and 24”, the wearer can chose just how they want the pendant to hang around their neck. Presented in a deluxe velvet pouch, this necklace will make the perfect gift, cementing you and your best friends friendship.

5) Sterling Silver Flying Hummingbird Charm with Thin Singapore Chain Necklace

Made entirely of sterling silver, this hummingbird necklace is a sure beauty! The chain and pendant sparkle perfectly and it is perfect for everyday wear. The entire piece is about 16” in length and is gorgeously crafted. The pendant is around the size of a dime making it easy to see and guaranteed to bring in multiple compliments.

All these items can be found on Amazon which will give you all the pricing and shipping details.

Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Feeding birds is always fun but sometimes squirrels get in the way. Squirrels have a tendency to invade bird feeders and eat up all the seeds or peanuts. They are very attracted to this food and can also end up damaging the feeder by gorging into the bird seed. Squirrels can also be an inconvenience when they scare birds away. Sometimes they eat with the birds and end up consuming all the food which sends birds away permanently. When selecting a feeder you need to consider squirrels since birds are not the only backyard animals. You therefore need a squirrel proof bird feeder to keep these unwanted guests away.

Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

Proofing Mechanisms
The two main ways of keeping squirrels away are using a baffle or a weight mechanism. The baffle method makes use of a large plastic dome that rotates with minimal external force. They are usually placed on poles or wires at a given height thus preventing squirrels from reaching the feeder. Squirrels are spun around as soon as they climb onto the baffle. On the other hand, the weight mechanism uses a lever on the feeder that controls seed access. The lever is controlled by the weight of the animal. The weight threshold allows the feeder to open when birds perch on it and close when a squirrel sits on the lever. Given the above information, here are some of the best squirrel proof bird feeders.

Brome 1024 Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
Brome 1024 is designed with ingenious methods of keeping away squirrels from bird seeds. At the bottom is a shroud with openings that line perfectly with the seed ports. When a squirrel jumps on this weight feeder, the shroud goes down thus closing the seed ports below the seeder. The adjustable spring also allows you to keep away large birds. This feeder has the capacity to hold 3 quarts of bird seed.

Purchase via: http://www.birdsofna.org/feeders/

Tom Chambers Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
Tom Chambers comes with a heavy duty cage that keeps away squirrels. This removable squirrel cage allows you to use it as a conventional bird feeder. The construction is very strong and sturdy. There are two port seed feeders that allow you to feed more birds. Sliding lids allow you to fill the cage easily. This squirrel proof bird feeder is affordable given its design.

The Squirrel Buster Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
This model features a new, tough, chew proof and weather resistant design. It is designed with an adjustable counter weight which closes the cage when a squirrel climbs on it. You can also adjust it when you need to keep larger birds away. It utilizes seed tube ventilation system to let in fresh air. There are many positions for clinging and perching which allows it to accommodate many bird species.

Best Hummingbird Feeders (Squirrel / Bee proof): http://www.besthummingbirdfeeder.org/

Conclusion
Squirrels can be annoying while trying to feed birds. They eat most of the seeds, damage the cage and eventually chase away the birds. These are very crafty and acrobatic animals. Both weighted and baffled methods are effective in keeping away squirrels. There are many squirrel proof bird feeders in the market. These three models may be a perfect fit for use in your backyard. Make sure to put the bird feeder at a desirable height. You may have to shift your feeder before you find a perfect spot. Feeding your winged friends has never been easier.

http://www.audubon.org/news/to-feed-or-not-feed

Hummingbird Feeders – How to Choose the Best Products

The flower nectar and sugar water that hummingbirds find on feeders are the primary sources of the energy they need for both metabolism and flying. For protein supply, hummingbirds get it from eating insects and tiny spiders. Having the right hummingbird feeder parts is vital to their overall health and survival.

Buying the Best Hummingbird Feeders

How do you choose the right hummingbird feeder?

There are many factors that you can look at to find the right feeder. But there are only two determining criteria you can focus on.

First, you need to know that you must only choose a feeder that you can and are willing to clean, and hang properly. Remember, molds and bacteria can easily grow, they could be a source of disease for the hummingbirds if the feeder is always dirty. Don’t leave the hummingbird’ water more than two or three days before changing it. During summer or hot weather, make sure to change the water every day.

Since you will have to clean the feeder regularly, better choose one with parts that are simple to dismantle and put back together.

Second when feeding hummingbirds, you must consider the size of the feeder. The ideal size would be the ones that the hummingbirds in your location can empty out. Take note also that hummers are typically and very territorial in their feeding areas. It means that setting up five small feeders with a feeding port each, hanged on different trees, would attract more hummingbirds. This is compared with setting up one huge feeder that has many ports.

What feeders are recommended?

To give you ideas on the best hummingbird feeders, here’s a list of top three selling products at Amazon:

1) First Nature 3055 32-ounce Hummingbird Feeder

This is the #1 best selling feeder in the store. It’s the most favorite feeder because of the ease of cleaning it thoroughly. It’s made up of durable plastic. It has three parts which are easy to remove and put back together. It comes with a large mouth that’s also easy to fill. The feeder has 10 feeding ports with a perch that goes around. Some really like it for not attracting too many bees.

2) Perky-Pet 203CPBN Pinch Waist Glass Hummingbird Feeder with Free Nectar

This one is next on the list and stands out because hummingbirds seem to be very much attracted to this model. It must be the arrangement of the flower design, and the perch where hummers can rest. Unlike the usual feeders, this one has a top plastic cap that can be unscrewed. The glass bottle can stand on its own, and it will be the right time for you to pour the juice. It has a wide mouth that makes pouring of the juice very easy.

3) First Nature 3051 Hummingbird Feeder, 16-Ounce

This is another best-selling product that amazes the hummingbird lovers because it’s very simple to clean. Hummingbirds flock happily with this feeder, having more space for them to stand on the outer ledge. Others are content with its design of a plastic top that has a wide opening, and a tough base that doesn’t drip.

Final Word

Lastly, let me leave you with a very practical tip when changing feeders. When you set-up a new feeder, know that they may not feed immediately. They will have to familiarize themselves first. But once they get used to it and adapt, they will come and visit regularly. It may help that you hang the old feeder together with the new one. Just make sure it’s empty. Enjoy the hummingbirds as they come.

Resources:

1. http://www.houstonaudubon.org/default.aspx
2. http://www.defenders.org/hummingbirds/basic-facts
3. hummingbird food recipe – top hummingbird food recipes & nectar products