A Few Surprising Hummingbird Facts

Most typical species of North American hummingbirds only weigh only approximately 1/10 of an ounce! To help you understand just how very little that weight actually is, according to hummingbird expert Laura Erickson, you could mail nine or ten hummingbirds for the cost of a single postage stamp!

There are some sixteen different species of hummingbirds which are known to breed regularly in the United States. In addition, another 6 or so different species that are found in Mexico or the Caribbean have been seen in the United States.

Hummingbirds consume between 3 and 7.5 calories per day. While that may not sound like much, but it truly is when compared with a human being, who would have to intake 155,000 calories per day to equal that of the hummingbird.

Hummingbird Food

The Hummingbird’s Need for Protein

Protein is a necessary requirement of the hummingbird’s diet as well as nectar. About 10 percent of the hummingbird’s diet comes from sources which provide protein. As a result, the hummingbird will eat soft bodied insects and spiders to gain the needed protein necessary within their diet. A hummingbird will capture the insect it eats through a process known as “hawking,” which is when the hummingbird flies and dives to capture the insect out of the air.

The remaining 90 percent of the hummingbird’s diet comes from nectar which is from flower or feeder sources. Each feeding only last approximately 30 seconds in length and this will occur between 5-8 times per hour.

Hummingbird Feeders

Should Different Types of Bird Feeders Be Hung Together?

While searching the Internet for information and ideas for possible future post, I came across a question by someone wanting to know if you can hang a hummingbird feeder right next to other types of bird feeders. Today’s post was inspired by that person’s question.

First off, I would like to state that the opinion expressed here is my own and there is not truly a definitive answer to this question. I have seen different types of feeders hung together before but I do not know how effectively this worked or did not work. I am just going to offer you my personal opinion on the matter based on my own knowledge of and experiences with hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds are extremely territorial birds and as a result they will fiercely defend a hummingbird feeder as their own from even other hummingbirds, so I do not believe that the hummingbirds would like other types of birds in the area feeding close by while the hummingbirds are feeding. My suggestion would be to place the different types of bird feeders that you may have in separate and “designated” areas of your yard for the various types of birds you desire to attract.

If you have plants in your yard that are known to attract hummingbirds then hang your hummingbird feeder near those plants. This will allow the hummingbird the opportunity to have multiple food sources available from which to feed.

It is also good to place the hummingbird feeder in a location which will not expose it to direct sunlight, as this will cause the nectar to spoil more rapidly. Lastly, make sure that the feeder is not placed in a windy location because this may cause the nectar solution to slosh out of the feeder and therefore be more likely to attract ants to the feeder.

Even though I only have knowledge about hummingbirds, it is my sincere hope that this post will help you understand why it is that I personally do not believe that different types of bird feeders should be hung together or near by each other. This is not to say that you yourself cannot try placing the feeders together or nearby and see what happens. If you do this, please let us know what you discover concerning this issue. Thanks.

Hummingbird Videos

Garden Accent Heaven-Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Backyard

In this video “Birdman Mel” offers his tips on how to successfully attract hummingbirds to your backyard. He explains that you can do this through the use of nectar rich plants or a hummingbird feeder. He explains how to make your own nectar solution and why keeping your feeders properly cleaned and maintained is so vitally important.


The Hummingbird’s Amazing Metabolism

Yes, hummingbirds do indeed have a very high metabolic rate, but nevertheless hummingbirds do not eat until they are full at every opportunity. During daylight hours, the hummingbird will eat frequently for short periods of time. A hummingbird will feed 5-8 per hour with each one only lasting about 30 seconds in length. At night, the hummingbird will eat as heavily as the nectar supply will allow. The hummingbird may store a third of its weight in nectar to ensure that it will survive its overnight fast while maintaining its normal resting metabolic rate.

It is important to keep in mind that a hummingbird can starve to death in as little as two hours. This is why it must store so much of its weight in nectar to ensure it will survive the night.