Editorials

A blur of bright delight

Native only to the Americas, our ruby-throated hummingbird is the smallest of all birds. It’s usually first seen as a blur of wings, bright sun flashing on its incomparable ruby red and iridescent emerald green coloring. The hummingbird makes its grand showing in North Carolina during March after journeying over an incredible 600 miles of ocean from Panama, expecting to nest and summer with us.

Favoring brilliant-colored funnel-shaped flowers for nectar, hummingbrids find trumpet vines ideal for summer meals. While the brighter-colored males begin migration south as early as September, females keep us company a bit longer, occasionally over-wintering in the milder coastal areas, especially when assisted by a steady supply from a hummingbird feeder.

Hummingbirds can wing from a hover into an almost instantaneous 40-mph flight. They are unchallenged in maneuverability and able to go from full forward to reverse flight in less time than it takes to blink an eye. Carolina’s hummingbird is wondrous to behold.

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