Hummingbird Day celebrates the World’s smallest winged treasure. This holiday totes the grandeur of the petite birds when they begin their migratory descent and fly for more than 500 miles from portions of the southern United States through Mexico and even on into Central America.
As September marks the hummingbird's southward migration, they begin their migration northward in late January through March where these winged jewels are first spotted along the Gulf Coast. Hummingbirds are the only species of bird able to fly in multiple directions, which cultivates great flight precision. These birds adopted their namesake from the reverberation of their wings, which flap upwards of 80 times per second.
Honor the beauty and majesty of hummingbirds by celebrating Hummingbird Day in one of these three artful ways
1. Hang a hummingbird feeder in your backyard - preferably in a shady spot
You can either purchase hummingbird food or make your own. If you make your own, leave out the artificial sweetener and avoid food coloring.
Follow these simple instructions to make your own hummingbird food:
Stir 4 parts water and 1 part sugar in a saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes.
Cool completely before pouring into the feeder.
To clean the feeder, bring to a boil 4 parts water and 1 part white vinegar. Then, rinse the feeder thoroughly with this solution and allow it to dry before refilling.
2. Create a hummingbird garden on Hummingbird Day by incorporating various native plants that bloom across multiple seasons, selecting plants with showy orange and red tubular blossoms.
Four of the most commonly preferred plants are:
Beebalm (Monarda) - native to the northeastern United States.
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) - native to southeast Canada and east to the southwest U.S.
Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) - native to the eastern U.S.
Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans) - native to the eastern U.S. and is naturalized in the west.
3. Bake a hummingbird cake and serve it among family, friends - or both
Hummingbird cake, which originated from Jamaica, is a tropical treat and Southern tradition. Whether you prefer to bake a hummingbird cake from the original recipe or from a modern version, you will certainly enjoy this fruit and nut combination on Hummingbird Day.
Southern Living - original recipe submitted in 1978 by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins, containing vegetable oil and shortening.
Food Network - modern recipe inspired by Paula Deen, containing buttermilk and additional banana and egg.
Baker’s tips for the hummingbird cake: (1) Heat the bananas in the oven with peelings intact at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, till they darken. Let them cool to the touch, remove peelings, and stir into the cake batter. (2) Toast pecans in either the oven or on the stove with a little butter, sugar, and cinnamon, to add as a cake topping.
How Hummingbird Day Unites People
Hummingbird Day unites families and friends to adore Mother’s Nature’s tiniest, unique bird. Spend time outdoors witnessing the wonder of the hummingbird or enjoying a delectable treat in its honor.
To enjoy a personal view of a hummingbird in slow motion, watch this video courtesy of National Geographic.