Funny thing about our Bee Balm: it doesn’t attract many bees. But Hummingbirds, that’s a different story. The violently red Bee Balm matured this week about 10 days late, and the voracious Hummingbirds swarmed immediately, as to say: “What took you so long?”
Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are our only species of Hummers here, other than the occasional lost stray. And, at this time of year, we only have females, which don’t have ruby throats. Both genders migrate here and mate in the Spring; then, the females stay to keep house and the males go to Canada to party.
Both genders are less than four inches long, but they have high-performance engines. They can fly horizontally up to 25 miles an hour and dive up to 40. Their wingbeats average a blurry 53 per second and, when in passing gear, the beats can reach 200 a second, which means they consume a lot of nectar fuel. See also the image in the first Comment space.