Hummingbirds - Too Good to Be True!

Hummingbirds – Where do you start? So cool! So tiny! So unique! Certainly one of the most beautiful birds in the world and truly one of the most fascinating.

What makes them so special?

Size for one…or the lack there-of. They really are the smallest of all birds, and yet, with more than 330 species, they are the second largest family of birds in the world. A fact made even more remarkable when considering that they are found no where else on the planet except in the Americas. Not in Asia, not in Europe, not in Africa or anywhere else except the Western Hemisphere.

They are the undisputed avian aerobatic flight champions, masters at hovering and the only birds able to fly backwards and upside down.

They have the fastest heart rate, the fastest wing beat, the fastest metabolism and the largest heart, in proportion to body size, of any bird.

A large heart, but a really small brain, the smallest of any bird…about the size of a BB! But it’s a good brain, capable of navigating thousands of miles to migrate back to the exact same feeder year after year.

And the smallest of all birds has one of the biggest appetites…ingesting up to eight times their weight in solid food and liquid every day.

As for that “solid” food…they use the flexible tip of their bill to capture insects and insect eggs from the ground and on plants. They love spiders and spider eggs. And as for the “liquid” portion, their forked, open-grooved tongues lap up nectar from the feeders and flowers at an amazing 12 times a second.

There is only one main species of hummingbird in New Jersey, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds of New Jersey are a common sight in summer and they usually start to arrive in spring in April but mostly in May. Males typically arrive first up to one or two weeks before the females.

In the fall, migration usually occurs between September and mid-October, but some hang around all winter thanks to hummingbird feeders.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are bright green on the back and crown, with a gray-white underside and the males have an iridescent red throat. Female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are green on the back and white underneath with brownish crowns and sides.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are bright green on the back and crown, with a gray-white underside and the males have an iridescent red throat. Female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are green on the back and white underneath with brownish crowns and sides.

Length: 2.8-3.5 in (7-9 cm)
Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz (2-6 g)
Wingspan: 3.1-4.3 in (8-11 cm)

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only breeding hummingbird in eastern North America. They then migrate further south to Central America. Some migrate over the Gulf of Mexico, or some migrate through Texas around the coast.

They start arriving in the far south in February and may not arrive in northern states and Canada until May for breeding. They begin to migrate south in August and September.

These tiny birds zip from one nectar source to the next or catch insects in midair or from spider webs. They occasionally stop on a small twig, but their legs are so short they cannot walk, only shuffle along a perch.

Flowering gardens or woodland edges in summer are the best places to find them when out. They are also common in towns, especially at nectar feeders.

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can be aggressive in their defense of flowers and feeders. They do not stick around long after mating and may migrate by early August.

Ruby-throated females build nests on thin branches and make them out of thistle or dandelion down held together with spider silk. They lay 1-3 tiny eggs measuring only 0.6 in (1.3 cm)


Along with nectar from native flowering plants, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds eat insects and insect eggs on the ground and in trees. They love spiders and spider eggs. They use their bill and not their tongue to catch insects. The best way to attract hummingbirds to you backyard is to offer a combination of native nectar-producing plants, as well as nectar feeders to provide our WBU Hummingbird and Oriole Nectar or Naturally Fresh Hummingbird Nectar with Feeder Fresh Nectar Defender Liquid Concentrate. You can also create your own nectar using a 4:1 water/sugar ratio).

Some tips to remember when feeding hummingbirds:

Change the nectar and wash your feeder in hot water every three to four days (more often in hot weather).
Use Hummingbird Feeder Fresh Nectar Defender to help keep your nectar fresher longer.
If you have a WBU Hummingbird Feeder, simply place it in the top drawer of your dishwasher for easy cleaning.
If you plan to store nectar in the refrigerator, boil the water first before creating and storing your nectar solution.
Never add red food coloring, honey or artificial sweeteners to the solution.

By having a hummingbird feeder, you can provide the much-needed energy that hummingbirds require, especially during migration (May and September). Fill a hummingbird feeder with a solution of four parts water, one part table sugar. Be patient! It can take several weeks or even months for hummingbirds to find your feeders. Placing them near colorful flowers which hummingbirds favor, such as bee balm, will help to introduce them to your feeders. These birds are quite bold, too, so try placing a feeder close to the house so you can catch all the action!

Here are some products we love... please visit our online store or come on by to see lots more!

Medium High Perch Hummingbird Feeder

Our High Perch™ hummingbird feeder is the perfect way to attract hummingbirds to any yard. The high perch allows hummingbirds to comfortably rest, providing you with better, longer views of the birds.

Hummingbird Nectar Mix with Nectar Defender™

In hot weather, nectar can cloud or grow mold and cause sickness in birds. This nectar mix contains Nectar Defender™, with all-natural and bird-safe micronutrients that stop spoilage and keeps your birds healthy.

How to Choose the Best Hummingbird Feeder