10 of 30: Hummingbird
Today is the Tuesday Slice of Life Challenge. For those of you just stopping by, I'm writing a poem each day this month in celebration of National Poetry Month.
I have been thinking about nonfiction poetry and collecting titles to consider as mentor texts for my first graders. Last night I came upon Jane Yolen's, Bug Off!. On each page Yolen shares a poem about an insect with a few research facts carefully collected underneath. So tonight I decided to try my hand at a poem with just a bit of fact peppered within. I have been collecting interesting hummingbird facts so I decided to give a poem a try. It needs a lot of polish, but when you are writing a poem each day there is no time for that.
|Photo from ODNR|
You have already arrived
From your summer home
I heard you buzzing
As I sat on the patio
Admiring the flowering trees.
Watching the birds build their nests.
I heard you
Well before I saw you,
With your wings beating
Faster than my eyes can see.
I spotted you
Darting around the yard.
You paused to study me.
Then flew backwards and away.
You were by yourself,
Moving here and there
Looking for food.
But you are early.
The yellow iris
Has not yet bloomed.
The hosta is just peeking
From the ground.
The zinnia hasn't been planted.
The dianthus has yet to sprout.
The snapdragon, though getting tall,
Hasn't started to bud.
But here you are.
Skittering about the yard,
Building your new home,
Searching for food.
© Cathy L. Mere, 2012
- Only species of hummingbird is the only one to breed in eastern North America.
- Lay 1-3 eggs.
- Females care of young.
- Female may have several broods in a year.
- Migrate to Mexico and Central America (may double their weight to make journey across Gulf of Mexico)
- Weigh less than one ounce.
- Rapid wing movement (12-80 times per seconds, typically 55 times per second).
- Only birds that can fly backwards.
- Can fly up to 60 miles per hour.
- Normal flight speed is 25 miles per hour.
- Have extremely small legs.
- Male has red throat (appearance dependent upon light).
- Feed on flowers, nectar, sap, insects and spiders.
- May eat twice its weight each day.
- Pollinate plants.
- Nest is the size of an English walnut shell.
- Lifespan 5-9 years
Sites to Learn More
National Geographic: Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Operation Ruby-Throat: Nests and Eggs
Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Video About Attracting Hummingbirds (and nesting)
Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Bird-Watcher's Digest: Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
University of Maine: Understanding Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds and Enhancing Their Habitat in Maine
Wonderopolis: Do Hummingbirds Really Hum?