Ruby-throated Hummingbird Mini Journal

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Model: MJ-51
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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The wild columbine, occurring from Canada through Georgia, is a beautiful woodland flower often found growing precariously among rock crevices.  Its red color helps attract ruby-throated hummingbirds, which feed on the large amount of nectar contained in the backward pointing spurs.  As the darting acrobats flash from flower to flower, their bill and facial feathers transfer the pollen from one flower to the next.  Thus, while the hummingbirds depend on the flowers for food, the flowers depend on the hummingbirds to effect pollination;  a good example of coevolution.

The hummingbird’s primary food supply is nectar, although they do eat occasional insects.  They extract nectar by reaching deeply into flowers with their highly extensible tongues.  Hummers have an incredibly high metabolism and must visit thousands of flowers each day to obtain the sugars necessary for sustenance. Hummers are delightfully quick and graceful.  Females construct the small, beautifully- intricate nest using such materials as lichens for camouflage, spider webs for reinforcement, and fine down for lining.  During the late summer, these hummers add to their fat reserves to prepare for their winter migration.  Some will cross the Gulf of Mexico, a span of over 600 miles!

artwork and text by Steve Sierigk © 1998

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