PHOTO

Mountain Jewel

A broad-tailed hummingbird searches for nectar in a skyrocket plant, one of the many plants that these hummingbirds help to pollinate in the mountainous west. The male broad-tailed can be distinguished from other male hummingbirds by its emerald green back and ruby red gorget, or throat patch. It is also the only hummingbird to have a wing “whistle”, which can be heard up to 100 yards away. This whistle is used to help defend its territory from other birds. Hummingbirds consume on the average, half their weight in sugar each day. If the average person had a metabolism comparable to that of a hummingbird, he would have to eat 285 pounds of hamburger a day.

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