There is no mistaking a hummingbird. Even people who hardly know a robin from a sparrow recognize that flash of iridescent feathers and the distinctive hovering flight. So popular have "hummers" become that even casual birdwatchers now travel great distances to hummingbird hot spots to see masses of birds in their annual migrations.
In this invitingly written book, June Osborne paints a fully detailed portrait of perhaps the best-known hummingbird in the United States, the ruby-throat. Drawing from her own birdwatching experiences, she offers an "up close and personal" look at a female ruby-throat building her nest and rearing young, as well as an account of a day in the life of a male ruby-throat and stories of the hummers' migrations between their summer breeding grounds in the United States and Canada and their winter homes in Mexico and Central America.
In addition to this life history, Osborne recounts early hummingbird sightings and tells how the bird received its common and scientific names. After an overview of hummingbirds' distinctive ways of feeding, flying, and conserving energy, she offers a detailed description of the ruby-throat that will help you tell females from males, immature birds from adults, and ruby-throats from similar species. Osborne also takes you on a visit to the "Hummer/Bird Celebration!" at Rockport, reviews hummingbird banding programs, and explains how to attract hummingbirds to your yard or apartment balcony.
June Osborne (1931–2007), of Waco, Texas, wrote extensively about birds and led birding tours. She is the author of The Cardinal.
One. Hummingbirds: Their Human Appeal
Two. A Family of Tiny Dynamos
Three. Our Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Four. Courtship and Life around the Nest
Five. Life in the Fast Lane: A Day in the Life of a Male Rubythroat
Six. Long Day's Journey into Night: Migration
Seven. The "Hummer/Bird Celebration!"
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