Hooray for Hummingbirds!

February 26, 2014

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Want to see more hummingbirds in your garden? Invite these tiny birds over with nectar, water, and shelter to rest—and maybe to nest! Learn more about them in The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids!

Hooray for Hummingbirds!

Hummingbirds are all-American birds. They exist only in South, Central, and North America—nowhere else in the world.

All together, there are 339 species of hummingbirds. In the spring, 21 species fly thousands of miles northward from Mexico, Costa Rica, and other southern places to visit the United States and Canada. In the fall, they return to their southern homes.

Although hummingbirds usually weigh less than an ounce, these tiny birds have a lot of energy. When the wind blows in the direction in which they are flying, they can travel up to 50 mph.

In North America, the greatest number and variety of hummingbirds can be found in western areas of the United States and as far north as Alaska.

Only one species—the ruby-throated hummingbird—usually visits areas east of the Mississippi. The birds also visit southern Canada, especially British Columbia, Alberta, and Nova Scotia.

The long flights and wing beating can make a hummingbird weary. As often as every 15 minutes, they look for a place to rest on trees and shrubs with small leaves. Particular plants include birch trees, butterfly bushes, and honey locusts.

Don’t worry if you do not have these plants in your yard—your hummingbird might also rest on your feeder’s hanger.

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