This is especially true as you anticipate the first glimpse of a hummingbird each spring. The excitement of their arrival at your feeders is guaranteed to bring joy to your heart and a smile to your face.
So be patient and rest assured that hummingbirds are on their way.
Their arduous 2,000 mile journey from Central America will finally end in your own backyard! Indeed, you have won the lottery…and the payout is that these beautiful jewels will continue to brighten your world until the end of summer.
Whether you are on the lookout for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the east or Black-chinned, Rufous or Broad-tailed in the west, providing nectar feeders and a variety of appropriate native plants is your best bet to entice these summer visitors.
But not all hummingbirds are on the move.
If you are lucky enough to reside in the far west, you may be hosting a family by now. Hummingbirds such as Costa’s, Anna’s and Allen’s are already busy raising their youngsters. Your anticipation now turns to seeing a glimpse of a newly fledged hummingbird making its first visit to your feeder.
Be it a juvenile or adult hummingbird, watching them at the feeder is always a special treat.
Watch as they fan their tail and dart at one another. Check for a hint of yellow pollen on their forehead from the flowers they have visited. Listen for their chittering or squeaking calls and the incessant hum of their wings. Observe their tongue moving in and out of their bill up to 12 times per second as they lap up the sweet nectar.
Hummingbirds do not feed by sucking up nectar with their bills. They feed by using their forked, open-grooved tongue to draw the nectar into their mouth with every lapping action.
A great way to see this amazing tongue in action is to use a Wild Birds Unlimited Hummingbird Feeder or a WBU Window Hummingbird Feeder. Due to these feeders’ clear plastic bases, you will actually be able to witness the rapid lapping action of your hummingbird visitors.
So many reasons to be impatient for their return…but the payoff is always well worth the wait.
For more information, be sure to check out the WBU Nature Centered Podcast episode, “Hooray for Hummingbirds.” Our entertaining experts, John and Brian, will share how to have even more joy by attracting and watching your hummingbirds.