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Hummingbirds

Our wee friends flock to the Sunshine State as eagerly as tourists do

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Last updated: by Olha Savych
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Florida reports 12 hummer species out of the total 16 or 17 recorded in the country. In reality, you will most likely see three of them—ruby-throated (Archilochus colubris), black-chinned (Archilochus alexandri), and rufous (Selasphorus rufus) hummingbirds. The season you choose will determine what type you're going to spot. In spring through fall, 99% of the hummers you encounter will be ruby-throated hummingbirds, while two other species would occasionally appear over the winter months.

The most common species and the only breeder here is the brilliant ruby-throated hummingbird, marked by iridescent red throat feathers. This cute bird shows up all over the Sunshine State between early March and late September. Not surprisingly, the period is considered the official hummingbird season in Florida. The natural habitat extends from central Florida north across the eastern US and well through southern Canada. Even though the bird typically winters in Mexico or Central America, some individuals prefer to stay in south Florida all year round.

You'd surely like to know where exactly to catch a glimpse of these little flying gems. The answer is simple—anywhere, yet the sighting is always a matter of luck. Enhance your chances and help migratory hummingbirds by setting up a feeder in your garden. Make a nectar-like mixture of one part sugar and four parts water. But mind washing the feeder regularly. You don't want to poison the birds with a moldy drink.

Additionally, Florida has several places where you could observe a variety of hummingbirds in captivity. Check out Butterfly World in Coconut Creek or Miami Metrozoo. The staff takes good care of the tiny creatures. Sometimes local gardens and flowerbeds may even attract several wild hummers too.

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