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A Treasure Chest of Hummingbirds

Emeralds, sapphires, brilliants, and more!

Hummingbirds' names evoke their exquisite qualities and variety, from sabrewings to woodstars to sunangels-to this Violet Sabre-wing. Central and South America are home to well over 300 species of hummingbirds! Find out more about hummingbird migration -- and what hummingbirds might be coming your way. Learn how to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Browse a lovely gallery of photos.

Full Transcript

A Treasure Chest of Hummingbirds

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote! [Song of Anna’s Hummingbird]

A baker’s dozen hummingbirds regularly turn up in the United States. Most don’t spend the winter. Only the Anna’s Hummingbird of the western states appears to brave the cold. But Central and South America are home to well over 300 species of hummingbirds! [Sound of Ruby-throated Hummingbird]

Their names rise to the challenge of meeting these birds’ exquisite qualities and variety. There are brilliants and mangos, thornbills and lancebills, emeralds and sapphires. Not to mention sabrewings, woodstars, and sunangels. There is a Fiery-tailed Awlbill, a Bearded Helmetcrest, a Black-eared Fairy, and a Green-tailed Trainbearer.

And we haven’t even left Venezuela yet! 

Hummingbirds are found only in the New World. They range in size from the 2¼-inch Bee Hummingbird of Cuba [Song of Bee Hummingbird] to the nearly 9-inch Giant Hummingbird of the Andes. [call of Giant Hummingbird]

And the wonderful names go on: goldenthroats, violet-ears, jewelfronts, and firecrowns. Streamertails, pufflegs, woodnymphs, plovercrests, and comets. Can you imagine a White-vented Plumeleteer – or a Booted Racket-tail? How about a Spangled Coquette? [Wing hums]

To see some pretty amazing photos of hummingbirds, come to our website, I’m Michael Stein.


Bird calls provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Anna’s Hummingbird recorded by E. Tamer. Central American ambient recorded by G.A. Keller. Bee Hummingbird recorded by G.F. Budney. Giant Hummingbird recorded by T.A. Parker III. Foraging Anna’s Hummingbird recorded by A.A. Allen. Ruby-throated Hummingbird recorded by R.S. Little.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to     March 2015     Narrator: Michael Stein

ID# old: 031406hummersKPLU      hummingbird-02b

Sights & Sounds

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