Rufous hummingbirds taking over bird feeders across New Mexico | KOB 4

Rufous hummingbirds taking over bird feeders across New Mexico

Brett Luna
Updated: July 28, 2020 06:21 PM
Created: July 28, 2020 03:39 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The rufous hummingbird gets a bad rap. It has been accused of being the bully of hummingbirds.

It's been seen pushing other hummingbirds out of the way in an attempt to get food.


The thing, though, the rufous humming bird has a reason to be a little selfish.  

"This is a bird with an agenda," said Diane Longenecker, senior bird keeper at the ABQ BioPark Zoo.  "This is one of the longest migrating hummingbirds, and they go from Mexico... all the way up into the eastern peninsula of eastern Alaska."

It's a journey that requires a lot of energy.

"If we were humming birds, we would have to consume 140,000 calories a day to keep up the activity that a hummingbird does, and we would have to put on to get ready for migration about 30% fat reserve," Longenecker said.

Longenecker said people can help rufous hummingbirds and other birds by putting out multiple feeders around their home.

The nectar can be made by pouring 1 part sugar to 4 parts water and boil until the sugar has dissolved, and do not add red dye.

The rufous hummingbirds is expected to resume its journey south in mid-September. Other hummingbirds are expected to move out of New Mexico by mid-October.

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