Wednesday, January 2, 2008


According to my thermometer, it was 12 degrees this morning. That's durn cold! At least we have no snow or ice on the ground. It does make it difficult to think about hummingbirds, though. Aren't they amazing creatures? The ruby-throated is the species found in Missouri in the warm months. It is generally believed Ruby-throated hummingbirds fly non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico in the spring and possibly in both directions. This trip is believed to take a hummer 18 to 20 hours. This is a remarkable journey and certainly the trip carries the extra danger of adverse winds with little margin of error for the tiny travelers. Birds lose a quarter to half their body weight during migration. Scientists suspect the birds navigate by stars when traveling at night. Some parts of the US have hummers all year for entertainment and enjoyment. Wouldn't that be nice? Fact for today:

A hummingbird will add up to one-half its weight in body fat in preparation for migration, a phase called hyperphagia.

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