'For My Love of the Hummingbird'
Hummingbirds have enormous appetites. The reasons for their enormous appetites is the frequent visits they make to rich nectar flower that will provide the fuel these tiny hummingbirds require to maintain their high body temperature. Also to give them the energy they need for their powerful flights with their tiny muscles to function efficient in flight and rest. During a normal day for the hummingbird, they will visit between 1000 and 2000 flowers a day.
hungry after a long cold night of sleep. The reasons for the High-rich diet in nectar is so essential for these tiny beauty birds is to maintain their body temperatures. Why you might ask? For example humans temperature for normal is 98.4F degrees
The reasons for this is, that these hummingbirds need to keep their body temp's at least at 102 F degrees (38.5c)to keep alive.
This also provides their muscular activity with the heat which is needed during the many periods of rapid flight. It will also keep them warm during those long flights when they head home for the winter.
There is always a huge problem in maintaining their 102 temp during the night when these tiny hummingbirds are perching hidden in the trees.
Most hummingbirds are known to feed just before dusk so their bodies will have sufficient reserves to keep them going through the night. They are also seen to engage in frenzied bouts of feeding early in the morning to restore his/she fuel used up during the night to keep their bodies warm.
Their rate of respiration and heart beat also will drop. They will remain in this state until morning .
Many will find a safe place to do this so they don't become prey. Like my Rosy at night sleeps deep in the thick pine trees. This is why it's very important if you happen to have an hummingbird from the South like Peru or Mexico that has decided to make your backyard or porch his/her their permitted home.
You have to think about your tiny new friend during the winter conditions which they are not used too.
They need lot!!! of homemade nectar. So you must have a hummingbird feeder from at least late Oct- to April when the first froze has left and the nectar flowers have stared to bloom. Personally I keep on out 365 days a year just in case. And now for Rosy who lives on my porch year around I need to for his survival. You also need to make sure that they have lots of safe places for roosting, nesting and sleeping in the weather conditions.
Sleep- Lastly I am going to cover sleep-
characteristic sleep posture. The head tilts backwards and the bill is pointed toward the sky. Once in the torpid state the tiny hummingbird will not respond to anything stimuli like sudden noises or movements near its perch. It is only the rise in temp and increase in light of dawn that will raise it from the torpid state back to its normal rate of activity. When it does it will flee and feed.
The word narcotization has been used to describe as overnight torpidity in winter hibernation to save energy.
I have been lucky to see this once back in 2010 when we had our last big snow or any snow for that