Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Hi Everybody!!
During the end of August, the male hummingbirds are still arriving and claiming their favorite branch. Your photostudy is from August 20, 2014. Temperatures still close to 100 make the birds thirsty. They are here to gain weight before the trip to Mexico. The early birds have been here for a couple of weeks and established a daily routine. All are waiting for the girls! I have shared facts from Wikipedia below about hummingbirds and history. Enjoy!

Link to Aug 20 photostudy:

This date in History over 100 years:


August 20

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
August 20 is the 232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 133 days remaining until the end of the year.




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Female black-chinned hummingbird
Scientific classification
Vigors, 1825


Hummingbird incubating inCopiapó, Chile

Hummingbird nest with two nestlings in Santa Monica, California

Calliope hummingbird feeding two nestlings in Grand Teton National Park

Fallen Anna's hummingbird nest inVentura County, California, shown next to toothpick for scale
As far as is known, male hummingbirds do not take part in nesting.[33] Most species build a cup-shaped nest on the branch of a tree or shrub; although, a few tropical species normally attach their nests to leaves.[citation needed] The nest varies in size relative to the particular species—from smaller than half awalnut shell to several centimeters (1 centimeter = 0.39 inches) in diameter.[33]
Many hummingbird species use spider silk and lichen to bind the nest material together and secure the structure.[34] The unique properties of the silk allow the nest to expand as the young hummingbirds grow.[citation needed] Two white eggs are laid,[34] which, despite being the smallest of all bird eggs, are in fact large relative to the adult hummingbird's size. Incubation lasts 14 to 23 days,[34] depending on the species, ambient temperature and female attentiveness to the nest.[33] The mother feeds her nestlings on small arthropods and nectar by inserting her bill into the open mouth of a nestling, and then regurgitating the food into its crop.[33]

Wing structure and colors[edit]

Many of the hummingbird species have bright plumage with exotic coloration. In many species, the coloring does not come from pigmentation in the feather structure, but instead from prism-like cells within the top layers of the feathers. When light hits these cells, it is split into wavelengths that reflect to the observer in varying degrees of intensity. The hummingbird feather structure acts as a diffraction grating. The result is that, merely by shifting position, a muted-looking bird will suddenly become fiery red or vivid green. However, not all hummingbird colors are due to the prism feather structure. The rusty browns of Allen's and rufous hummingbirds come from pigmentation. Iridescent hummingbird colors actually result from a combination of refraction and pigmentation, since the diffraction structures themselves are made of melanin, a pigment.[35]


Hummingbirds are capable of slowing their metabolism at night or any time food is not readily available, entering a hibernation-like, deep sleep state known as torpor needed to prevent energy reserves from falling to a critical level. During nighttime torpor, body temperature falls from 40oC to 18oC,[27] with heart and breathing rates both slowed dramatically (heart rate to roughly 50 to 180 beats per minute from its daytime rate of higher than 1000).[28]
During torpor, to prevent dehydration, the kidney glomerular filtration rate ceases, preserving needed compounds like glucose as a source of fuel, water and nutrients.[25] Further, body mass declines throughout nocturnal torpor at a rate of 0.04 g per hour, amounting to about 10% of weight loss each night.[25] The circulating hormonecorticosterone, is one signal that arouses a hummingbird from torpor.[29]
Use and duration of torpor vary among hummingbird species and are affected by whether a dominant bird defends territory, with non-territorial subordinate birds having longer periods of torpor.[30]


Hummingbirds have long lifespans for organisms with such rapid metabolisms. Though many die during their first year of life, especially in the vulnerable period between hatching and leaving the nest (fledging), those that survive may live a decade or more. Among the better-known North American species, the average lifespan is probably 3 to 5 years. By comparison, the smallershrews, among the smallest of all mammals, seldom live more than 2 years.[31] The longest recorded lifespan in the wild is that of a female broad-tailed hummingbird that was banded (ringed) as an adult at least one year old, then recaptured 11 years later, making her at least 12 years old. Other longevity records for banded hummingbirds include an estimated minimum age of 10 years 1 month for a female black-chinned similar in size to the broad-tailed, and at least 11 years 2 months for a much larger buff-bellied hummingbird.[32]

...this is brendasue signing off from Rainbow Creek.  See you next time!