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AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY

American Bird Conservancy is one of the most helpful organizations I have come across with information on different bird species, their habitat, and where to find them. Please help support their cause that helps us all achieving conservation.

American Bird Conservancy
HUMMINGBIRD

JOIN AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY

For more than 25 years, American Bird Conservancy has been standing up for birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. We’re proud of our bird conservation results. But the need is great. Many birds are experiencing major population declines and need our help more than ever. Please join us and start making a difference for birds today.

Our Mission

American Bird Conservancy is dedicated to conserving wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. This mission has guided us throughout our history of more than 25 years.

The loss of bird populations throughout the Americas has been alarming — the U.S. and Canada alone have lost 2.9 billion birds over the last five decades. Habitat loss, including habitat impacted by threats to birds, from pesticides to climate change, remains the most significant driver of bird population declines.

Birds need places that allow them not only to survive, but to thrive.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Parr

President

American Bird Conservancy

American Bird Conservancy-RUFOUS
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD

BIRD OF THE WEEK: May 22, 2020 SCIENTIFIC NAME: Selasphorus rufus
POPULATION: 19 million
TREND: Decreasing
HABITAT: Breeds in northwestern U.S. and Canadian forests; winters in Mexican highlands, sparsely along U.S. Gulf Coast

At a tad over three inches long, the feisty red-and-orange Rufous Hummingbird is a tiny warrior, readily attacking birds many times its size, as well as large insects or anything else it perceives as a threat to its territory. It dominates feeders and choice flower patches, chasing away other hummingbird species such as the Calliope Hummingbird.

The Rufous Hummingbird is a standout in a family of already incredible American birds, and not only because of its moxie. It’s also known for its stunning migration, one of the longest of any bird its size.

Incredible Journeys

The Rufous Hummingbird is the most northerly breeding member of the family Trochilidae. It nests from Oregon and Idaho north through much of British Columbia and into southern Alaska.

Traveling up to 3,000 miles to wintering grounds in western Mexican pine/oak and oak habitats, Rufous Hummingbirds can be found with other migrants such as the Western Tanager and Townsend’s Warbler.

In recent years, the Rufous Hummingbird has been seen more regularly in winter in the southeast U.S., where it was once a rare stray. Sightings have piled up particularly along the Gulf Coast. This change is likely due to a warming climate, combined with an increase in suburban garden habitats and hummingbird feeders.

A Marvelous Memory

Research has revealed that the area of a hummingbird’s brain related to learning and spatial memory — the hippocampus — is proportionately the largest of any bird group studied to date, occupying a percentage of “brain volume” up to five times larger than that found in songbirds, for example.

With enhanced spatial memory, the Rufous and other hummingbirds pinpoint prime locations of nectar, their main food source, and keep track of which blooms are at peak, visiting only when the flower provides its richest nectar supply. Remarkably, hummingbirds can also remember feeder locations from previous years, both on their home territories and along their migratory pathways.

Like all in its family, from the Esmeraldas Woodstar to the Blue-throated Hillstar, the Rufous Hummingbird needs a lot of fuel to sustain its nonstop daily activity. To keep its “tank” full, it must feed almost continuously throughout the day in short spurts of less than a minute at a time, often visiting more than 1,000 flowers in a day. But in addition to nectar, Rufous and other hummingbirds also need protein, both for themselves and for their fast-growing young. They get this nutritional mainstay from tiny insects and spiders that they capture in the air and on foliage and flowers.

Dashing Displays

Like other hummingbirds, including the Ruby-throated, male Rufous Hummingbirds court females with elaborate flight displays, including steep, U-shaped dives. During these flights, air rushing through the wings and tail produces a variety of buzzy, chattering noises that enhance the performance.

Listen to a male’s display flight here: “Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)” xeno-canto Andrew Spencer

American bird conservancy
Young
Diminishing Returns

Although the species is still considered common, the Rufous Hummingbird’s population is declining due to habitat loss on both breeding and wintering grounds, as well as threats along the long migratory route. These minuscule birds regularly fall prey to outdoor cats and other predators, while others die after window collisions.

ABC has a number of initiatives in place to tackle these dangers, including our Cats Indoors program, which encourages pet owners to keep cats and birds safe, and our Glass Collisions program, which offers solutions to keep birds from hitting windows.

The Rufous Hummingbird is a priority species for our Western program, including our work with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. It’s also benefiting from ABC’s BirdScapes approach to migratory bird conservation, which focuses on the conservation of geographically linked habitats, both north and south.

SUPPORT THE AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY https://abcbirds.org/birds/

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a small hummingbird with a slender, slightly downcurved bill and fairly short wings that don’t reach all the way to the tail when the bird is sitting.

Relative Size

Same size as a Black-chinned Hummingbird sparrow-sized or smaller

Measurements
  • Both Sexes
    • Length: 2.8-3.5 in (7-9 cm)
    • Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz (2-6 g)
    • Wingspan: 3.1-4.3 in (8-11 cm)

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are bright emerald or golden-green on the back and crown, with gray-white underparts. Males have a brilliant iridescent red throat that looks dark when it’s not in good light.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird © Laura Erickson

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds fly straight and fast but can stop instantly, hover, and adjust their position up, down, or backwards with exquisite control. They often visit hummingbird feeders and tube-shaped flowers and defend these food sources against others. You may also see them plucking tiny insects from the air or from spider webs.https://player.vimeo.com/video/238666112

© Timothy Barksdale | Macaulay Library

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds live in open woodlands, forest edges, meadows, grasslands, and in parks, gardens, and backyards.

© Georges Duriaux | Macaulay Library
A Monarch butterfly and Asclepias tuberosa photographed in a pollinator-friendly garden.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org

We have various species of hummingbirds here in the Druid Hills Subdivision. They are present when the weather is warmer and flowers are blooming. They enjoy the nectar you provide that is fresh and homemade, one part sugar three parts water. Food coloring is optional unless the feeder has no red on it, the water color will attract the hummingbirds then.

Hummingbirds are a joy to watch as the male makes a noise when in flight.

Habitat loss is the primary driver of bird population declines. American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and partners are working throughout the Americas to protect birds’ habitats of all kinds — from breeding grounds to wintering habitats — including through tree-planting efforts.

The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Enhancements Act of 2022 would provide a much needed boost to the conservation of migratory birds across the Western Hemisphere. Congress must pass it!

Will you join American Bird Conservancy in calling on Congress to support the Saving America’s Pollinators Act (H.R. 4079), protect birds, and strengthen regulations on toxic pesticides?

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About DruidHillsHOA

I'm Diana Foraci, a long time resident of the Druid Hills located in Florissant Colorado. I'm the owner of this site, representing the Druid Hills HomeOwners Association which represents this community in Good Faith, with Honor and Integrity.

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