(TMU) – Late spring is the time when bird enthusiasts, and hummingbird lovers in particular, prepare to welcome these amazing little feathered creatures by polishing their special, brightly colored hummingbird feeders.
They are considered one of the smallest, beautiful and remarkable birds found in nature. Native to the Americas, most of the species measure between 2.95-5.11 inches (7.5–13cm) in length – the bee hummingbird, weighing just 0.07 ounce (2.0g) and 1.98 inches (5cm) in length being the smallest existing bird species.
Hummingbirds flap their wings so fast they create the humming sound they are named for and are the only birds that can fly backwards. Although found in Canada and across North America, they migrate to warmer climates to avoid the cold winters, they are found all year in much of the Caribbean and South America and in some of the warmer southern and coastal regions in the US and Mexico.
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I know that a ton of you live in parts of the world where hummingbirds are only summertime visitors. Hummingbirds only exist in “The Americas” They are found from Southeastern Alaska down to Southern Chile. The hummingbirds rarely winter in a place where temps drop below freezing: preferring instead to make a long and hazardous trip down to warmer climates like Mexico. I know all of you miss your bird friends terribly. In honor of the hummingbird migration happening right now, I present you with this virtual feeder… Now you guys can come and get your hummingbird fix, as though you’re just looking at your friends at the feeder through the kitchen window. I’m taking good care of the birds who have been stopping through my yard on their way down south. They are all fat and happy and enjoying their stay in Northern California. 🐦❤️🐤
The North and South America is home to around 330 species of hummingbirds and while these birds have no sense of smell, they do have excellent color vision.
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird for instance, prefer tubular orange or red flowers. To attract them, simply plant red and orange flowers in the garden and/or use feeders with include those colors.
Hummingbirds drink the nectar by moving their forked tongue, which is as long as its beak, in and out of the flower or feeder about 13 times per second and can consume up to double their body weight in a day. And with all the energy used by those fast beating and humming wings, they don’t have to worry about gaining weight either.
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Today we got an infrared sauna. The only space for it is in the garage, which is okay, except that there is a pile of wood right next to the sauna. And a lot of things live inside of the pile of wood. Including a black spider with red on his back who crawled out of the wood pile to examine my new sauna. I don’t mind spiders. But if you are a male (or female) black widow spider, I’m sorry to say, I will try to squish you. Because the potential for you to bring your wife and children into my new sauna is pretty high. Fortunately for the spider: between my flailing and my screaming and my aim: he escaped. But I’m guessing he is probably pretty pissed off at me. To be fair: I would be mad at me too! I spoke into the wood pile to apologize for trying to smash him with my shoe. He did Not reply. I don’t think he accepted my apology. (Because, technically I was apologizing for the fear he must have felt when I missed. Not for the actual attempt on his life.) I’M SORRY MR. BLACK WIDOW! I mostly love all beings. But I have enough health issues. I don’t need a black widow bite on top of everything else. I checked all around the area and couldn’t find him anywhere. I’m sure he’s a master of camouflage. So. The sauna is amazing and hopefully the black widow will not reappear. Or if he does, it will be with eight tiny suitcases (one in each hand) as he and his tiny spider family relocate to a wood pile outside of the garage. In the meantime, I’ll be in the sauna, sweating like crazy and listening to podcasts with one eye open. Awaiting a spiders (well deserved) revenge. 🕷 ⏳ Speaking of camouflage: how amazing is this male Annas Hummingbird who somehow managed to match his gorget to the flowers in the backyard! 😍💕🌺🌸 slo mo iPhone video, feeders from www.hum-fi.com
Hummingbird enthusiasts sometimes get very creative to attract these birds to their gardens by providing the sweet nectar and intricate, colorful feeders. Quite a few get very creative with their feeder designs, especially when wanting to experience the birds up close and very personal.
A man from Lyons, Colorado for example, attached plastic feeders to his spectacles for a real up-close hummingbird experience.
His design was successful as the birds didn’t seem to mind being so close to a human and happily sipped the sugar water on offer while their rapidly flapping wings hummed around his face.
Spencer Staley, a ‘bird nut’, turned himself into hummingbird feeder a couple of years ago.
Staley converted a safety helmet by adding seven feeders, attached at the tips of thin metal rods. With his innovative human feeding station Staley was able to feed hundreds of birds in a short period of time.
A Costa Rican enthusiast also created a similar hat feeder, albeit on a smaller scale, with three feeders attached to a hat with wire, providing him with a very close view of the birds sipping the nectar.
When there’s nectar to be had, hummingbirds don’t seem to mind getting close to humans, even close enough to be fed by hand, but be prepared to be patient should you want to give this method a try.
Idaho Senate Approves Bill to Kill 90 Percent of State’s Wolves in “Brutal War”
Idaho’s legislature is swiftly moving forward with a bill that critics say would sanction a “brutal war” on wolves whereby up to 90 percent of the current wolf population would be killed in a bid to protect the interests of the state’s ranchers.
On Wednesday, the Idaho senate passed the measure by a 26-7 vote. The bill will now move forward to the House chamber, reports Associated Press.
Since teetering at the brink of endangerment years ago, wolf populations were removed from the state endangered species list in 2011. Since then, they have thrived despite Idaho allowing hundreds to be killed by hunters, trappers and state measures to control their numbers. Over the past two years, the wolf population has held steady at about 1,500.
According to federal guidelines, wolf recovery numbers require about 150 wolves in the state.
Republican supporters of the bill said during senate debates that the wolf population has grown entirely out of control, endangering the numbers of deer and elk available to hunters and harming the state economy.
“We’re supposed to have 15 packs, 150 wolves. We’re up to 1,553, was the last count, 1,556, something like that. They’re destroying ranchers. They’re destroying wildlife. This is a needed bill,” said Republican state Sen. Mark Harris.
However, critics have blasted the move as rash and potentially damaging to the state’s wildlife.
“The Idaho Senate’s sudden move to pass this bill in the eleventh hour incentivizes the cruel deaths of more than 1,000 wolves across the state,” said Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.
“This brutal war on wolves must be stopped, and we urge the House to deny this bill,” Zaccardi added.
Maggie Howell, the head of the Wolf Conservation Center, also described the move as the latest in a hostile and extreme campaign against wolves that fails to take into account the creatures’ value to the local ecology.
“Beyond the wanton cruelty and devastation the passage of this bill would bring to wolves, this legislation poses a threat to wolves nationwide,” she told the New York Times. “With the Trump administration’s decision to transfer wolf management authority from the federal government to the states, Idaho’s policies can influence expectations about wildlife management beyond its borders.”
As Marine Life Flees the Equator, Global Mass Extinction is Imminent: Scientists
The waters surrounding the equator are one of the most biodiverse areas in the globe, with the tropical area rich in marine life including rare sea turtles, whale sharks, manta rays, and other creatures.
However, rampant rises in temperate have led to a mass exodus of marine species from the sensitive region – with grave implications for life on earth.
While ecologists have long seen the thriving biodiversity of equatorial species holding constant in the past few centuries, a new study by Australian researchers published in The Conversation has found that warming global temperatures are now hitting the equator hard, potentially leading to an unprecedented mass extinction event.
The researchers from the Universities of Auckland, Queensland, and the Sunshine Coast found that as waters surrounding the equator continue to heat up, the ecosystem is being disrupted and forcing species to flee toward the cooler water of the South and North Pole.
The massive changes in marine ecosystems that this entails will have a grave impact not only on ocean life – essentially becoming invasive species in their new homes – but also on the human livelihoods that depend on it.
“When the same thing happened 252 million years ago, 90 percent of all marine species died,” the researchers wrote.
To see where marine life is headed, the researchers tracked the distribution of about 49,000 different species to see what their trajectory was. The global distribution of ocean life typically resembles a bell curve, with far fewer species near the poles and more near the equator.
However, the vast alteration of the curve is already in motion as creatures flee to the poles, according to a study they published in the journal PNAS.
These changes augur major disruptions to global ecosystem as marine life scrambles in a chaotic fight for food, space, and resources – with a mass die-off and extinction of creatures likely resulting.
The research underscores the dire need for human societies to control rampant climate change before the biodiversity and ecological health of the planet is pushed past the point of no return.
Rare Creature Photographed Alive In The Wild For The First Time Ever
Advances in the methods used by researchers to watch wildlife have allowed for the photographing of a rare creature whose image had never been captured in the wild before.
Researchers in the West African nation of Togo were able to spot the rare Walter’s duiker, a rare species of petite African antelope, for the first time in the wild thanks to camera traps equipped with motion sensors.
In addition to the Walter’s duiker, the camera traps were also able to discover rare species of aardvarks and a mongoose, reports Gizmodo.
At a time when the extinction of entire species is becoming more common worldwide, such devices should help conservationists not only preserve creatures sought by bushmeat hunters but also spot rare animals whose presence is elusive for human observers. In the past, biologists were forced to rely on the same hunters for information.
“Camera traps are a game changer when it comes to biodiversity survey fieldwork,” said University of Oxford wildlife biologist Neil D’Cruze.
“I’ve spent weeks roughing it in tropical forests seemingly devoid of any large mammal species,” D’Cruze continued. “Yet when you fire up the laptop and stick in the memory card from camera traps that have been sitting there patiently during the entire trip—and see species that were there with you the entire time —it’s like being given a glimpse into a parallel world.”
The Walter’s duiker was discovered in 2010 when specimens of bushmeat were compared to other duiker specimens. The new images of the creature are the first to have been seen.
Rare species like Walter’s duiker are often not listed as “endangered” by groups like the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to a lack of data.
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