Those birds are humming right along

CREDIT: Glen on

If you are one of those with a hummingbird feeder (one part sugar, four parts water, no red food coloring), then you know the hummingbirds are in the middle of their migration to Central America and Mexico. While not proven, most think they sense a change in the length of daylight and lack of flowers and that triggers their journey south (and back again in spring!). No question, as many Click2Pins as I get of these amazing little guys tells me how intriguing they are.

Credit: Rick Dunlap from Click2pins

I discovered a few other migrating facts thanks to Hummingbird Central! Amazingly, a hummingbird’s heart beats up to 1,260 times a minute, and its wings flap 15 to 80 times a second!

They appreciate the feeders as they typically gain 25-40% of their body weight before they start migration in order to make the long trek over land and water.

They fly solo, often taking the same path they have flown earlier in their life, and fly low, just above tree tops or water. Young hummingbirds must navigate without parental guidance.

Hummingbirds fly during the day when nectar sources such as flowers are more abundant. Flying low allows the birds to see, and stop at, food supplies along the way. They are also experts at using tail winds to help reach their destination faster and by consuming less energy and body fat.

Research indicates a hummingbird can travel as much as 23 miles in one day. However, during migration as they cross the Gulf of Mexico, they may cover up to 500 miles at a time. Their average speed in direct flight is in the range of 20-30 mph, and up to three times that fast during courtship dives.

Credit: Kelli Pyeattt on

And if you put out a feeder, change the sugar/water mixture more often -- this heat can turn it into sugar alcohol pretty quickly!

Credit: Bonnie Lee Parker on Click2pins

And here is a family bonus: grab the kids and grandkids and migrate to Lake Jackson tomorrow morning for the Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza! For only $5 each you can learn more about these amazing little guys, meet them up close, watch as they are banded and “adopted.”

Learn about the bird!

However you choose to nest this weekend, enjoy it! See you on TV!


Email me with ideas and comments!

About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with four decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.