Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Outdoor Slugfest

Every day I watch an outdoor slugfest right outside my window. 

It takes place between little creatures that weigh less than 1/10 the weight of a mailing envelope or approximately 3 grams. 

But, they are oh so feisty. Especially the little male who has dominated the bird feeder in front of our window. It seems as though he is using most of the energy he takes in from the feeder in defending his self proclaimed "turf".  If any of the ladies nearby try try to zoom in on his territory he has a fit and chases them away. But oh how I love them all, even that nasty little male Ruby Throated Hummingbird. 

They are bulking up in order to fly over 500 hundred miles nonstop for 22 hours to make it to the Yucatan Peninsula or Panama.  Hummingbirds are solitary little creatures and prefer to make the journey alone instead of in large flocks.  Perhaps this is a good thing because prevailing storms and hurricanes could wipe out the entire population if they traveled together.   Hummingbirds have the smallest eggs of all birds but have the biggest hearts in relation to their size.  A typical heartbeat for a hummingbird is 1260 times per minute.  A person would have to eat 285 pounds of hamburger per day to equal the amount of food a hummingbird takes in.  They can fly backwards, forwards, and even upside down for brief moments.   

This is my mom with the hummingbird feeder we gave her for her 90th birthday.  
I think she looks pretty good for 90!! 

Wouldn't you know it the day we hung up her new feeder two hummingbirds already found it!

Right now we have five feeders hanging up around our house.  

 This is one we make in class.  

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