What can you do to help migratory birds like the ruby-throated hummingbird, on their journey?
An individual ruby-throat hummer weighs roughly 3 grams, flaps it wings 53 beats per second on average, and in extreme cases can fly solo for over 1,200 miles without a break (including 500 miles over the Gulf of Mexico!). These tiny fliers usually travel about 20 miles per day during their migration periods in the spring and fall. They winter in southern North America and Central America as far south as northern Panama, and summer in the eastern US and Canada, including right here in Minnesota! Read more from The Cornell Lab about this impressive mini-migrator!
Also, check out more info about the super powers of this bird species from Journey North.
Hummingbirds that make it into adulthood usually live to be about 4 years old. However, the oldest known hummingbird was recaptured and re-released at 9 years old. Quick math will tell you if she migrated 1,500 miles twice a year (spring and fall) for 9 years that single little bird may have traveled roughly 27,000 miles in her lifetime! What an incredible feat, for an animal of any size!
Birds can really use our help! What can YOU do to help birds? One simple thing is to hang a bird feeder or plant some flowers outside (hummingbirds drink from nectar feeders and tubular shaped flowers). The choices we make can and do make a difference! Take on the challenge by adopting one or more of these seven practices!