Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wet Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna. Our Anna's Hummingbird looking wet and miserable after a morning downpour as he sat on my redwood deck railings. He had his tongue hanging out. I've seen this behavior before but have no idea why they do that. Anybody have any clues?

Other trivia:
* hummingbirds appear to prefer flowers with a sucrose content of about 25%.
* Flowers that depend on hummingbird pollinators are often red and have a narrow infrared band to make them less visible to insects such as bees that frequent flowers that typically have more of a glucose/fructose sugar content. Could that have something to do with why honey is poisonous to hummingbirds?
* Hummingbirds also eat insects and spiders to get their protein and nutrients, nectar being low in nutrients.

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