Hummingbirds for Mother’s Day
If April showers bring May flowers, then what do May flowers bring? Hummingbirds!
One of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts is a red hummingbird feeder. It’s a gift that has kept on giving over the years with every glimpse of the tiny, busy beaks that take a sip.
And this year I have the perfect gift for my mom, another avid hummingbird watcher: Hummingbirds: Facts and Folklore from the Americas (Charlesbridge, ages 4 and up). Jeanette Larson and Adrienne Yorinks have compiled a collection of intriguing facts and legends, all beautifully illustrated with Yorinks’s quilted artwork. Below is but a “nectar nip” of what the book holds:
- Hummingbirds weigh roughly as much as two pages of notebook paper.
- They have the highest metabolic rate of any warm-blooded vertebrate and feed for about two hours every day.
- An ancient Mayan legend ascribed the hummingbird’s bright colors to the fine gifts it received from other creatures on its wedding day.
- The Aztec people believed that feisty hummingbirds were actually the spirits of fallen warriors.
- Wing beats range from twenty-five to two hundred beats per second.
- Their eggs are about the size of a small jelly bean.
And here’s a fun fact for all you resourceful, recycling moms: The female hummingbird is an ingenious nest builder, often using whatever is available, including “animal hair, plant fiber, [and] fibers from the roofs of abandoned cars.”
Happy Mother’s Day!
PS: You can find hummingbird feeders in NWF’s catalog — and other fun outdoor accessories! Also, Did you know May is Garden for Wildlife Month? Learn how you can attract birds, butterflies and other beautiful creatures to your yard. deck, or balcony.