By Karolyn Gephart
Hummingbirds was the topic for the guest speaker at the October meeting of the Heritage Gardeners in Friendswood.
Wild Birds Unlimited owner, Jeff Glattly entertained the group with facts about hummingbirds.
The small birds weigh about the weight of a nickel. They fly 30-63 mph and can have a heart rate of 250 to 1200 beats per minute. There are 343 species and in the Houston area, residents see about 23 different species of the tiny bird passing through during migration.
Hummingbirds only exist in North, Central and South America.
“The next couple of months are your best opportunity to see hummingbirds. Adult hummingbirds are now joined by a horde of juveniles as they head south to Central America and their winter territories, some traveling thousands of miles,” Glattly said. “En route to their destination, hummingbirds will take part in an eating binge that is unmatched at any other time of the year. A high-calorie diet is important to build fat reserves for their migratory trip. So be sure to have your hummingbird feeders filled with a nectar solution.”
Bird banding studies indicate that, with very few exceptions, the hummingbirds visiting feeders on a late-migration day are completely replaced by a new wave of migrants within 24 hours.
“To estimate the number of hummingbirds using feeders during migration, multiply times five. For example, if you see 10 hummingbirds at your feeder at one time, you will have about 50 passing through your yard that day,” Glattly said.
Glattly offers workshops at his store and held one recently on hummingbirds.
Wild Birds Unlimited is located at 2800 E. Broadway, Ste. L. in Pearland.