The Rufous Hummingbird
Weary but determined, the copper-colored Rufous hummingbird is making its yearly appearance here in the Puget Sound region – just in time to savor the sweet nectar of spring blooms. The Pacific Northwest is the favored breeding ground of this tenacious bird who travels North after wintering in the southern United States and Mexico. In fact, the Rufous holds the hummingbird record for miles logged during migration: a banded female flew 3,500 miles from Florida to Alaska!
This tiny but mighty bird is a fierce defender of its chosen flowering garden or feeder. We have even encountered them appraising us as we tend to our garden, hovering at eye level while evaluating whether we are friend or foe. The female builds her own nest, laying two jelly bean sized eggs, and is the sole provider of care to her babies.
Not only are they a wonder to watch as they dip quickly in and out of flowers, hummingbirds
also munch on aphids and other garden insects. Enjoy spotting the Rufous in your spring
and summer garden — they depart for their tropical winter residences in August.