Tuesday, April 20, 2010

AZ Hummingbirds Enjoy Spicy Foods

The hummingbirds here in Arizona seem to have a preference for "spicy" protein, alongside their voracious consumption of high carb nectar. Last year, I watched an Anna's humingbird pluck a tiny spider out of the middle of a spiral orb web amoungst the Aloes. Last week, I watched as a black throated hummingbird female hovered just beneath a pool deck chair, and appeared to "drink" from the bottom of the chair. Upon closer inspection, I found tiny webs beneath the deck chair, now devoid of arachnids. Then, yesterday, while doing yoga, I watched another black throated female stop and pluck tiny spider mites from the underside of the pool fencing (fences required by Phoenix City code) just above my flourishing lantana.

Each of the arachnids consumed were no more than 3 millimeters, toe-to-toe diameter.Tiny little spiders, with tiny amounts of venom, maybe they help "boost" the immune system of the little hummingbirds? Maybe the hummingbirds just have a preference for spicy snacks that have a kick... or 8 kicks =P

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