IN THIS ISSUE:
New At The Nest
We are ready for Spring, are you?!? We have recently added over 100 new items in an effort to offer you the best backyard wildlife and garden decor products. Here are just a few of the many exciting products found in our Just Added category.
Current Clearance Items
Here are a few items recently added to our Clearance section. Stock may be limited, so hurry before they are no longer available!While there are many types of birds to feed and watch in North America, there is something very special about hummingbirds. People are mesmerized by their colorful plumage, acrobatic flying, and diminutive size. There are 16 species of hummingbirds in North America, and as Spring returns we will begin seeing them return to our backyards in search of nectar. What makes hummingbirds so special? Let's take a look:
Bird Profile: Hummingbirds
Each month in 2004, BestNest will be featuring a species profile for the birds about which we receive the most comments and questions. We hope these profiles are both educational and entertaining, so please let us know if there is anything we can do to improve them. Enjoy!April 2004: Hummingbirds
There are over 300 different species of hummingbirds; however, hummingbirds are only found in the Western Hemisphere. Only 16 of those species are seen in North America; the vast majority of hummingbird species are found in South America. Of the 16, only 1 is typically seen east of the Mississippi River: the ruby-throated hummingbird. All of the North American hummingbird species are migratory by nature, though it is not uncommon for some birds to stay year-round in certain areas. The California coast, southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico typically have the best climates for year-round resident hummingbirds. Hummingbird migration most likely originated from the lack of suitable food during the winter months. While that may not sound surprising, many people would be incorrect in thinking that the lack of blooming flowers in the winter causes the hummingbirds to migrate south. The real reason is lack of insects! Nectar only makes up about fifty percent of a hummingbird's diet; it gives them the energy to catch the small insects that provide them with the protein they need to survive. Since many of the insects they depend on are not available in subfreezing temperatures, they migrate to Central and South America during North America's fall and winter months.
Most hummingbird species begin their northward migration between late February and mid-May, though some species may return to certain areas as early as November. They typically return to a location relatively close to their birthplace. Each hummingbird has its own internal schedule and map, so individual arrivals will vary significantly. Because of the varied arrival schedules, it is best to have your feeder out in early spring. If a hummingbird returns and there is no available nectar, it may permanently move to a different area in search of more readily available food. It is also important to keep the feeder full during their stay, as they consume about half of their body weight in nectar every day and will quickly seek out new sources of nectar if none is close by.
Unlike many birds you will see in your backyard, hummingbirds will not use man-made birdhouses. They prefer to build their nests in trees and shrubs at a height ranging from 5 to 20 feet off the ground. Though extremely active birds, you will occasionally catch them perched on a horizontal limb near their nest. Identification of the different species can be difficult for the novice bird watcher. If you live in the Eastern half of the United States, you can generally assume that the hummingbirds you will see are ruby-throated hummingbirds. However, Gulf state residents may see Rufous and Black-chinned hummingbirds from time to time. Residents of coastal and southern California, southern Arizona, and southern New Mexico will see the greatest variety of species. It is often helpful to use an identification guide for bird watching in these areas. The colors of the hummingbird's throat and breast will often be the easiest features to use when attempting to identify hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds will start their southward migration as early as mid-July, though most will leave between late August and late September. Many people will leave their feeders out through late fall and early winter, as they may have many visitors that will stop by their feeders to refuel before continuing their journey. If you are in need of a new hummingbird feeder, there are currently over 90 different hummingbird feeders available at www.bestnest.com. We offer hummingbird nectar mix and several informative books, such as the Stokes' Beginner's Guide To Hummingbirds and Bird Watcher's Digest's Enjoying Hummingbirds More. Our learning center also has valuable information on hummingbirds. If you would like more personal assistance, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-369-5446.
The BestNest.com Giveaway Winner is Yvonne D. Casad!
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