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Bird of the Week: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Planting tubular flowers or setting up feeders can attract these fast flitting birds to your yard. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird will feed from hummingbird feeders filled with a mixture of one quarter cup of table sugar per cup of water. As for flowers they prefer orange or red tubular flowers, but there is no need to color your sugar water these colors. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird through slow-motion videography has been clocked when hovering at 55 complete wind strokes per second, 61/second when backing up, and 75 strokes per second during straightaway flights. This hummingbird can stop instantly, hover, fly up, down, forwards, and backwards. If close enough you can actually hear the hum of their wing beats as they buzz past you. Measuring in at 2.8 to 3.5 inches and 0.1 to 0.2 oz they are the only breeding hummingbird in Michigan and the smallest breeding bird in Michigan. One of the last to migrate back to Michigan in the spring and the first to migrate to Central America in the fall, we only get them for a short time, but their jewel-like feathers and fast movements are a treat to see during Michigan summers. Many make the amazing migration trip to Central America over the Gulf of Mexico in one non-stop flight. So keep your eyes sharp for this tiny, fast darting bird visiting your neighborhood this summer. Happy Birding!
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