Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Smooth Phlox July 25, 2014

Something I have never witnessed before was the Ruby-throated Hummingbird stopping for some nectar at this rare wildflower, Smooth Phlox, Phlox glaberrima interior. It was only a few seconds, but a beautiful moment at that. I assume this bird is a female adult. Photographs were taken on July 25, 2014.

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Binomial name: Archilochus colubris

Category: Hummingbirds

Description: Metallic green feathers on back, grayish-white on underparts.  Males have a vibrant red throat which may appear dark in poor lighting. Wings are dark gray, almost black.  Long, slender bill is black in color and mostly straight with a slight curve at the tip.

Size: 2.8″-3.5″ long, 3” – 4” wingspan

Weight: 0.071 oz. – 0.21 oz.

Habitat: Broadleaf and pine forests, orchards, meadows, parks, and gardens

Diet: Tree and flower nectar, small insects, and spiders

Nesting: The female provides all parental care, building a nest in a protected tree or shrub on a slightly downward-sloping limb.  They favor deciduous trees such as oak, birch, or poplar.  The nest is made out of bud scales, lichen, spider silk, and dandelion or thistle down.  The same nest may be used year after year with the female making annual repairs.  The female will lay 1-3 eggs at a time, laying eggs once or twice per summer.  The young remain in the nest for 22-25 days.

Notes: A list of just some of the of native wildflowers we have planted in our yard to attract these exquisite tiny birds are: Red Bee Balm (Monarda didyma), Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis),  Royal Catchfly (Silene regia), Butterfly Milkweed (Ascelpias tuberose), Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta), Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum), Penstemon species, Echinacea species.

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About admin

Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

4 Responses to Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Smooth Phlox July 25, 2014

  1. exquisite photos of hummer…thanks

  2. Ruth Ruddock says:

    Beautiful photos, Jim!

  3. Annie Mueller says:

    Thanks again, Jim. I’ll need to watch our Phlox more closely.

  4. Elaine Swanson says:

    Somehow, the fragrance of that phlox reaches me, Jim – as well as the sound of those delicate wings circling the flowering attraction. Thanks for sharing your patience – and your artistic talents with us!
    Elaine

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