Spring hummingbirds arrive in Georgia

Hummers other than the brand of sport-utility vehicles have been spotted in Georgia, a sign that spring is buzzing in the air.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds travel more than 1,200 miles from Central America, says the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, which says one was seen last week at its Wildlife Resources Division’s Nongame Conservation Section in Forsyth.

“The first ones started showing up in middle Georgia about 10 days ago,” said Jim Ozier, a nongame program manager.

Each tiny bird daily needs to consume about half its weight in food. A ruby-throated hummingbird weighs 3-3.4 grams. To keep their high-octane metabolism humming, they feed on nectar and the tree sap. They also eat spiders and soft-bodiedinsects on flowers or in tree holes.

Humans can help feed them by planting coral honeysuckle, columbine, bee balm and other flowers.

Hummingbird feeders stocked with one part sugar to four parts water also can help fuel the little birds' flight. Boil the water, add the sugar and let it continue boiling for three to four minutes. Then wait for the mixture to cool before loading the feeder.

Anyone who spots an unusual hummingbird not commonly seen here is asked to report it to the Nongame Conservation Section at 478-994-1438. More information's available at www.georgiawildlife.com.