Hummingbird Food

Hummingbirds and Mites

I discovered something very interesting that has prompted me to write this post. I learned that mites will hitchhike on a hummingbird. Mites grow and reproduce within the blooms of many flowers by feeding on the nectar and pollen of these plants. Whenever a flower stops blooming and no longer contains nectar, the mite must move on and they do so by catching ride while on the hummingbird.
As a hummingbird sucks nectar from a flower, the mites run onto the bird’s bill and into the hummingbird’s nostrils. The mite only remains on the hummingbird for a short time, until the hummingbird visits another flower of the same species as the one the mite just left.
Hummingbird Videos

Video of Costa Rica’s Hummingbirds

This video contains photos of many of Costa Rica’s different hummingbirds.  There are 51 different species of hummingbirds found there.  This video consist of some absolutely stunning photos and I thought you might enjoy seeing them since I had written a recent post on the hummingbirds of Costa Rica and it is unlikely that most of us will ever have the opportunity to travel there and see these beautiful birds for ourselves.  Hope you enjoy the video!

Hummingbirds of Costa Rica

Costa Rica has 51 different species of hummingbirds. That’s a lot! In comparison, the U.S. Is only known to have 17 different species of hummingbirds and that number represents only 5% of the world’s total hummingbird species.
The Costa Rica hummingbirds produce various types of sounds and calls. They utilize these sounds to communicate among themselves. The male species of the Costa Rica hummingbirds with broad tails make a quavering sound with their thin feathers at the tips of their wings and the male species of Anna makes loud screeches with the feathers on their tails.
Besides producing sounds with the help of their feathers, Costa Rica hummingbirds also produce calls with their vocal organs. Using signs and gestures are alternative means of communication for Costa Rica hummingbirds.
The nests of these Costa Rica hummingbirds are as small as 50-cent coins. These nests are made up of minute particles of bark and cobwebs and are covered with silky plant parts. The female species of Costa Rica hummingbirds lay two tiny white eggs and keep them warm for 2-3 weeks.
Unlike adult Costa Rica hummingbirds, the tiny ones cannot live on sugar water and require the protein of insects. Moreover, the sugar water can cause harm to these birds. The mother birds arrange for tiny insects for the baby to eat. If the little Costa Rica hummingbirds get proper nutrition and appropriate climate they can start flying in a little above 15 days while some birds may even take a month’s time.
Exactly when the young hummingbirds will begin to fly may also be affected by the species these Costa Rica hummingbirds belong to. The tiny Costa Rica hummingbirds make their wings stronger by sitting on the edge of the nests before they can fly for the first time.
There are hardly any Costa Rica hummingbirds whose male species participate in building the nest or rearing the little ones.   This would seem to indicate that at least a few species in Costa Rica do participate in the nest building and raising of the young. This is different from any species of hummingbirds found in the U.S., because these do not have anything to do with the building of the nest or the rearing of the young. After the first 10 days the tiny Costa Rica hummingbirds are left to themselves for a major part of their time. The old nests are never utilized again. The small Costa Rica hummingbirds produce shrill sounds when not fed on time.
These Costa Rica hummingbirds require a lot of energy and therefore enter into a state of torpor, which reduces the pulse and the temperature to conserve energy. The duration of this slumber could be anything between 8 hours and 14 hours.
Hummingbird Feeders Hummingbird Food

Important Reminders about Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Solution

  • When making homemade hummingbird nectar solution, use only ordinary white cane sugar to sweeten the solution and no other type of sugar substitute. 
  • To make your own nectar solution, use a ratio of 1 part white cane sugar to 4 parts water.
  • This mixture approximates the average sucrose content (about 21%) of the flowers favored by North American hummingbirds, without being so sweet it attracts too many insects.
  • The nectar solution can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • It’s not absolutely necessary to boil the water, but this will help the sugar dissolve completely. The microorganisms that cause fermentation don’t come from the water; they are transported to the feeder on hummingbird bills.
Dear Mom

What is the Size of a Hummingbird’s Brain?

Most people who are hummingbird enthusiast are probably aware that hummingbirds are know to have excellent memories, but have you ever considered what the size of a hummingbird’s brain would be? Thoughts like this are always popping into by head, although I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because this is the kind of intriguing fact or piece of trivia that my mom would have wanted to know the answer for or just because hummingbirds are so incredibly small that it would seem their brains would also be quite small. Oh well, whatever the reason, I just had to find out the answer to this question. Here’s what I discovered about the size of a hummingbird’s brain.
I discovered that the hummingbird’s brain is proportionally larger in size to their body than that of any other birds. That seems to indicate that that their brain is fairly good sized for their being such tiny birds. Regardless of the exact size of the hummingbird’s brain, these birds prove repeatedly that they have excellent memories, because they will return to a dependable food source year after year. They know where they have been well feed, so if you want the hummingbirds to continue to return each season to your yard then help ensure that their food sources are safe, dependable, and plentiful.