Free Range Free Chat

Good morning, News Viewers, it’s Monday!

And what could be worse than a Monday? Another Monday without dear Rachel to keep us grounded, connected to nature’s wonders.

So I’m offering a pictorial to help keep Monday’s free chat session humming along.

Here in the Midwest, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds start arriving in April and begin nesting in mid-May. They overwinter in Central America, between southern Mexico and northern Panama.

Anna’s hummingbirds are along the Pacific coast, as far north as British Columbia.

Rufous Hummingbirds make a clockwise circuit of western North America each year. They move up the Pacific Coast in late winter and spring, reaching Washington and British Columbia by May. As early as July they may start south again, traveling down the chain of the Rocky Mountains.

A hummingbird’s long bill and tongue allow them to lick up to 13 times a second. They can hover and even fly backward, allowing them to easily zip from flower to flower. 

Their wings flap around 50 times per second, with a distinctive hum as they buzz by. But it’s not the speed of its wings that allows a hummingbird to hover—it’s the structure of its wing joints. Hummingbirds can rotate their wings as they flap. This lifts them into the air on both the forward and backward strokes.

The Costa’s Hummingbird, above, shows its tiny feet. Their dainty toes are used for perching only. They do not hop or walk.

Make it a good chat, friends, let’s have fun while minding our Monday manners.

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