My favorite summer ritual is drinking a cup of coffee on my back porch every morning. The sun barely peeks over the fencetop, the air is cool (sort of) and all is quiet except for the dove cooing in the treetop next door. That’s of course until Max goes outside and says hello to the German Shepherd and Lab to our left, and then the whole block is awake if they weren’t before.
Sitting on the back porch, Max and I have acquired a new friend. No, it’s not the stray cats that were hitting up the cat nip planted in the backyard. The cat nip is no more; I told Max we could not be the drug pusher for the Blockhouse feline population. Now, our daily visitor is a female ruby-throated hummingbird. That’s her pictured above. I think there might be more than one frequenting the feeder, but every morning, it never fails, she chooses to eat her breakfast with us, and just watching her dart back and forth reminds me how incredible our Creator is.
A few hummingbird factoids (from the World of Hummingbirds, of course)…
- Hummingbirds are the tiniest birds in the world.
- A hummingbird’s brain is 4.2 percent of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom.
- Hummingbirds can hear better and see farther than humans.
- A hummingbird’s heart beats up to 1,260 times per minute.
- A hummingbird’s metabolism is roughly 100 times that of an elephant.
- A hummingbird wings will beat about 70 times per second and up to 200 times per second when diving.
- A hummingbird can eat anywhere from half to eight times its body weight a day.
- A hummingbird will visit an average of 1,000 flowers per day for nectar.
- Hummingbirds are only found naturally in the Americas and are found as far north as Alaska and as far south as Chile.
- Early Spanish explorers called hummingbirds flying jewels.