Friday, April 1, 2011


The Hummingbirds are Returning to the
Santa Cruz Mountains!

With 10+ feeders and the Spring bloom in full swing, dozens of hummingbirds visiting
my friend Judy's garden every day.

For an opportunity to photograph hummers,
please check out the Hummingbird Photo Workshop
on Sunday, May 22, 2011 and
ADDITIONAL DATE:   Sunday July 10, 2011.

Here are some facts about these tiny birds:

Hummingbirds are the smallest of all birds, measuring between 2.5-8 inches (6-20 cm).

There are between 330 and 352 species of hummingbirds in the New World, most of which are found in the tropics. There are no hummingbirds in the Eastern Hemisphere.

There are 112 species of hummingbirds in all of North America, with 26 species observed north of Mexico, 17 of these have bred in the United States and Canada, 12 of have been observed in California.

Hummingbirds beat their wings at a rate of 40-80 per second and fly 30 miles per hour.

Hummingbirds are the only species of birds that can truly fly backwards and upside down.

The heart rate for a hummingbird is between 500 and 1260 beats per minute during the day and drops to below 50 during the night.

One of the most striking features of male hummingbirds is their iridescent plumage, particularly the brightly colored head and gorget (neck area) feathers of adults.

While hummingbirds enjoy nectar from feeders and flowers, a large part of their diet is also made up of insects.

Most hummingbirds fly south for the winter, many hummingbird species may been seen during the winter season. Leave at least one feeder out in the winter, and you may play host to an Anna's Hummingbird or another species.

This tiny flyer weighs about as much as a U.S. penny (approximately .1 ounce) yet manages to complete a non-stop flight over the Gulf of Mexico during migration – a distance of some 500+ miles!

 (Text Ref: Audubon Society)
All images copyright M. Raeder  - Photography