Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures in the bird world. They are incredibly tiny, yet they can fly at high speeds and hover in place with ease. These are the only birds that can fly backward, and can beat their wings up to 80 times per second and are found throughout North and South America.
However, there is one other aspect of Hummingbirds that makes them truly unique: their diet. Unlike other birds, which primarily eat insects, hummingbirds feed almost exclusively on nectar. They rely heavily on nectar, they have evolved long beaks and tongues that allow them to reach deep into flowers to extract the sweet liquid.
They consume large quantities of nectar, meaning that they must visit hundreds of flowers each day to get the energy they need to survive. For these reasons, hummingbirds play an important role in pollination, and they are a vital part of many ecosystems.
They are also able to hover in mid-air, making them seem like tiny helicopters because of their high-pitched “buzzing” sound.
In addition to their aerial prowess, hummingbirds are also known for their bright and colorful plumage. Every year, thousands of people put out hummingbird feeders in hopes of attracting these little birds to their backyards.
Whether you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a hummingbird in flight or simply enjoy watching them from a distance, there is no delaying that these creatures are truly magical.
6 Types of Hummingbirds in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is considered the home of various kinds of hummingbirds. Here you can find different species of hummingbirds like Ruby-throated, Broad-Billed, Anna’s, Violetear, Allen’s, and Rufous hummingbirds, etc.
Hummingbirds belong to the Avian family Trochilidae and are native to America. These are tiny attractive birds, with most species measuring 3-5 inches in length.
In Wisconsin, hummingbirds can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, wetlands, and even urban areas. These energetic little birds require a lot of food to fuel their high metabolism, and they feed on nectar from flowers as well as small insects.
Even you can attract these birds by displaying hummingbird feeders or you can plant nectar-producing flowers in your backyard.
Did you know, that there are more than 340 species of hummingbirds, and they are found in every part of America? Or do they have the highest metabolism of any animal on Earth? Here are a few more amazing facts about these birds.
- Despite their small size, hummingbirds are powerful flyers; they have been known to reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour in flight.
- The average lifespan of a hummingbird is 5 years.
- Hummingbirds have a very high metabolism and need to eat often. They may eat up to eight times their body weight in food each day!
- No other bird can fly like hummingbirds. They can fly backward, forward, and even upside down! This is possible because their wings can rotate a full 180 degrees.
- Hummingbirds do not suck nectar instead, they lick it with fringed, forked tongues.
- Hummingbirds cannot walk or hop like other birds.
- They can beat their wings up to 80 times per second, and breathe 150 times per minute.
- Hummingbirds come in a variety of colors, including green, blue, red, and orange. Even they are known to change color depending on the angle of the sun.
- A hummingbird egg is about the size of a jellybean and makes up about 5% of the mother’s weight, and amazing fact is that once the chicks hatch, they grow quickly and fledge(leave the nest) after only 3-4 weeks.
- Hummingbird tongues are shaped like W and they can extend out far beyond the break.
- All of these facts make hummingbirds one of the most fascinating creatures in the bird world.
So next time you see a hummingbird zipping around your garden, take a moment to appreciate these incredible creatures. From their bright plumage to their amazing flying skills, they truly are one of nature’s marvels.
Without any further delay let’s see what are those six hummingbirds that are seen most frequently in Wisconsin:
1# Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)
Anna’s hummingbirds are one of the most common species of hummingbirds found in North America. Male hummingbirds are easily identified with their iridescent green plumage. The back and crow are a deep, glossy green, and the throat and breast are a pale pinkish-green. The bill is black, and the leg and feet are dark greys.
The female bird is usually a little smaller than the male, with a green back and white underparts and the color of the throat is more pale pink.
The nesting season typically runs from February to August. Females build cup-shaped nests made of leaves, spider webs, lichen, and other materials.
These birds are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, deserts, and urban areas.
These birds feed primarily on nectar and use their long bills to reach deep into flower blossoms. They also eat small insects, which they capture in mid-flight.
#2 Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a species of hummingbird that is native to North America and Canada. It is the only species of hummingbird that breeds in this region. The bird is named for the distinctive ruby-red throat patch of the male bird. While the female has a white throat with some flecks of red. Both sexes have greenish-white plumage with some dark steaks on the back and wings.
These birds are among the smallest of all birds, and they are also one of the fastest, with a top speed of up to 30 miles per hour.
The Ruby-throated hummingbird feeds on nectar from flowers and also consumes small insects for protein.
They begin their breeding season in late April or early May through October.
Once the males arrive at the breeding grounds, they establish territories by performing a spectacular aerial display. The female chooses a mate based on the quality of the male’s territory. Once paired up, the male and female work together to build a nest out of plant material, spider webs, and down feathers.
The female lays two eggs per clutch, and both parents help to incubate them. After about two weeks, the chicks hatch and fledge the nest about three weeks later.
The Ruby-throated hummingbird is a popular bird species, not only for their striking appearance but also for their interesting breeding behaviors.
#3 Broad-Billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus Latirostris)
The Broad-billed hummingbird is a beautiful bird found in the SouthWestern United States and Mexico. It is easily identified by its distinctive red bill, which is curved and slightly broader at the tip than at the base.
The Broad-billed humming is a relatively small bird, measuring only about 3 inches in length. Its body is greenish-brown above and pales below, with a white band on its tail. The female is pale greenish-brown with white steaks on her breast.
The Broad-billed hummingbird eats insects and nectars from flowers. It can hover in midair and fly backward. The bird nests in trees and bushes. The female lays two eggs in a cup-shaped nest made of plants down and spider webs.
#4 Green Violetear Hummingbird (Colibri thalassinus)
The Green Violetear Hummingbird is a beautiful iridescent bird found in gardens and forests throughout Mexico and Central America. It is occasionally in Wisconsin.
The male bird has a shining green feather on its back and head, with a violet-blue throat. The female is similar, but her throat is white with green steaks. Both sexes have a long, curved beak that they use to feed on nectar.
These birds are fast flyers and can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour! They are also excellent hovering birds and can stay in one spot for several seconds at a time.
The Green Violetear is a small bird, measuring only around 3-4 inches in length.
They feed on nectar from flowers, using their long bill to reach into the depths of the flower. It also eats insects, which it catches in mid-flight.
These birds are known for their loud, high-pitched calls, which can often be heard before the bird is seen.
#5 Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus Rufus)
The Rufous hummingbird is a small bird measuring up to 3 inches in length and the second most widespread hummingbird seen in Wisconsin after the Ruby-throated hummingbird.
The Rufous hummingbird is a migratory bird and can often be seen in gardens and parks.
This bird gets its name ‘Rufous’ from its rufous-colored feather with green on its back and tail, while the female is typically paler in color.
During mating season, the male puts on an impressive aerial show, diving and zig-zagging through the air to attract a mate.
These birds are particularly fond of bees and wasps. Besides, they also feed on nectar-producing flowers including elderberry, fireweed, and tiger lily.
In the fall, Rufous hummingbirds migrate south to Mexico and Central America where they will spend the winter months. These birds typically return to Wisconsin in early spring.
6# Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin)
Allen’s hummingbird is a small bird found in the Western United States and Mexico. This bird is named after Charles Lane Allen, who was the first person to collect a specimen of the species. Male have greenish-black upper parts and a red gorget (throat patch), while females have greenish upper parts with white streaks. They measure up to 3-3.5 inches in length.
Allen’s hummingbirds are attracted to bright flowers, and they feed on nectar. They also eat small insects, which they catch in mid-air.
These are migratory birds, traveling south in the winter to escape the cold weather. They typically live in open woodlands, gardens, and other areas with flowers.
During the breeding season, male birds perform an elaborate courtship ritual in which they dive rapidly from a great height, making a loud noise as they go and they breed from March to August.
Despite their small size, hummingbirds are very fierce little creatures. Given their tiny size, you wouldn’t think that hummingbirds would need much food but they actually eat about half their body weight in food every day. And most of that food is sugar-nectar from flowers.
If you’re trying to attract these tiny amazing birds then attract them by feeder also plant nectar-producing flowers in your backyard that they are fond of, this will surely help you to attract them. Because hummingbirds need to visit hundreds of flowers every day.
If you’re lucky enough you can spot one of these amazing tiny birds in your backyard or in the feeder.
There are over 300 species of hummingbirds in the world, with around 20 different species that can be seen in the United States among these, some of them make an appearance in Wisconsin.
Now that you know some facts about hummingbirds, keep your eyes peeled next time you’re out birdwatching! you might just spot one of these tiny treasures.