Cole’s Bird of the Month for July is … the Ruby-throated Hummingbird

July is a peak breeding month for the little creatures that average 3 to 3 3/4 inches long. This is also prime time for the young to be hatched. Although the breed is called, Ruby-throated hummingbirds, it’s just the males that have what appears to be a ruby-throat. The color isn’t actually from pigment. It appears red when the light hits it. The males and females have iridescent green backs.

 

Hummingbirds generally eat just enough to get by. They like the nectar from flowers or hummingbird feeders, but when feeding their young, they will occasionally snack on an insect or a spider. They need a lot of food for their high metabolism and fast-moving wings. So, they generally get just enough nutrition to make it through the night. But right before the hummingbirds migrate from the United States to South America and cross the entire Gulf of Mexico on a non-stop 18 to 20 hour flight, they need a lot more food.

 

You may have noticed even though hummingbirds are adorable, they are not social. They tend to be loners, and when they find a great food source, they will aggressively compete for it.
 

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