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In just a few weeks, we will see the return of the world’s smallest birds – the Ruby-throated hummingbird – as they migrate back from Central America and Mexico! These tiny birds zip by so fast that you may not notice the bright green on their back and crown or the red throat of the males.
Look for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in woodlands, the edge of forests, gardens, and your own backyard. They beat their wings about 50 times per second as they hover in front of flowers and feeders to sip nectar using their beak and long tongue. They also feed on tiny insects trapped in spider webs.
What can you do to attract hummingbirds to your backyard? Plant tubular flowers such as Bee Balm, Zinnias, Salvia, and Columbine. Red & orange flowers in particular seem to be hummingbird favorites. Place hummingbird feeders in open areas around your gardens and yard. Fill them with a mixture of one part sugar & four parts water and be sure to change the water often. Hummingbirds are territorial so to attract more of them, spread feeders out in various parts of your yard..
Hummingbirds are not only fun to watch, they also play an important role as pollinators by carrying pollen from plant to plant!
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MetroParks provides opportunities to experience open green spaces near home. Pick the time of day that fits your busy schedule to spend some time with nature. Hike a trail, wander through natural habitats, view wildlife or just play! Please consider donating to further MetroParks ability to provide these resources.