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trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Habitat refers to where an organism resides and the hummingbird resides in a different location depending on what time of year it is.

The Ruby-throated hummingbird spends its winter mainly in Mexico. However, they eventually return to their breeding grounds and begin a non-stop migration over the Gulf of Mexico. Those that make it across this journey of over 600 miles will return to their breeding grounds once again.

As Wayne Bell says in "Attracting Hummingbirds," "their breeding range is from Florida to southern Canada and from the Atlantic Coast west to the Mississippi River." They prefer a habitat rich with flowering plants, as they are nectar-eaters and sip nectar from flowers as well as hummingbird feeders containing a solution of sugar-water. They are able to insert their long beaks with their tubular tongues into flowers to consume the nectar and certain preferred flowers of a certain shape or color (red) that really attracts them. These include Salvia, Butterfly bush, Bee Balm and Sage among many others.

Usually, their return is linked to when plants are in full bloom depending on what state their point of origin is. For example, those returning to the East Coast are seen during the summer months. Because of their extraordinarily high rate of metabolism, they must consume up to 3 times their body weight each day or they may perish.

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