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Come get the buzz about hummingbirds, or anything else you like @ the library

Photo of brown hummingbird feeding on sage flowers.

I’m not entirely convinced that we’ve actually had Spring here locally, but I’m ready to call it Summer.  Besides, the hummingbirds are back, which I always personally associate with summer. So far only one little fellow, or gal, has dined at my feeder, but I’m certain more will follow. After all, if you feed them, they will come.

I don’t try to attract any other birds to my yard, but for many years now I’ve diligently hung out at least three hummingbird feeders in an effort to more closely observe these tiny creatures. It’s an added pleasure to see the looks of wonder on my grandchildren’s faces when they see them close up. When the children remain still, seated on the deck, they can also hear the birds zooming barely a foot or two over their heads. The fascination is total.

I would be remiss in my duties as grandma not to also impart some nuggets of hummingbird information, and not really having much to share, I checked out some materials available at the library. There is a children’s book, About Hummingbirds: A Guide for Children by Cathryn P. Sill that sounded appropriate along with a DVD called Super Hummingbirds. These sounded like a good start, and if that’s not enough information for us, there are so many more titles available. Next I might check out A Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America, which is a Peterson Field Guide.

So far I’ve learned hummingbirds measure 3-5 inches in length, can fly right, left, up, down, backwards and even upside down. Their wings flap at a very high frequency, 12 to 80 beats per second, depending on the size of the bird. This is why they are called hummingbirds, as we humans can hear the humming sound this makes. The eggs that are laid are about the size of a pea! And apparently, the visitors I have to my feeders are most likely the Ruby Throated hummingbird, which only nests east of the Mississippi River. This particular type has a heart which beats from 225 beats per minute at rest to 1,200 times per minute during flight.

Although I put out a mixture of sugar water to attract the little ones, flowers are a good draw. Some very good types to plant would be Bee balm, Cardinal flower, Trumpet creeper, Coral honeysuckle and Columbine.

This information is literally the tip of the iceberg of the books, videos and more that is available to us through JCPL. Come, call, or visit our website and search for yourself.

Photo of brown hummingbird feeding on sage flowers by John Duncan on Unsplash.