Thursday, March 26, 2009


A few days ago at our feeder we had our first male Rufous Hummingbird of the year. It was quite exciting. Their striking plumage is such a wonderful treat to brighten your day.

Here is some useful information on them:

Tiny bird, small and compact hummingbird.
Extensive rusty coloration in most plumages.
Male with iridescent red throat and non-shiny reddish back.
Size: 7-9 cm (3-4 in)
Wingspan: 11 cm (4 in)
Weight: 2-5 g (0.07-0.18 ounces)

The Rufous Hummingbird makes one of the longest migratory journeys of any bird in the world, as measured by body size. At just over 3 inches long, its roughly 3,900-mile (6,276 km) movement (one-way) from Alaska to Mexico is equivalent to 78,470,000 body lengths. In comparison, the 13-inch-long Arctic Tern's one-way flight of about 11,185 mi (18,000 km) is only 51,430,000 body lengths.

The Rufous Hummingbird has an excellent memory for location, no doubt assisting it to find flowers from day to day, or even from year to year. Some birds have been seen returning from migration and investigating where a feeder was the previous year, even though the feeder was currently absent.