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Junior Ranger, Jr. Explores Hummingbirds

This wildlife activity page is part of a Junior Ranger, Jr. series for ages 3-6. Adults and young children can use some or all of the activities to explore nature together inside and outside the home.

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a hummingbird with green, iridescent feathers hovers in front of a red flower
A female ruby-throated hummingbird visits a backyard flower near Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

© Jim Roetzel

Imagine

If you were a ruby-throated hummingbird, you would have shiny green feathers that cover the top of your head, back, wings, and tail. If you were a male, your throat would be bright red. Females have a pale throat. If you were hungry, you would fly quickly from flower to flower, using your long bill to sip the sweet nectar inside. You like red and orange flowers best. If you wanted to talk to other hummingbirds, you would make short and fast chip calls. Sing chee dit, chee dit, chee dit!

A photo of the complete craft: the body of the bird is a footprint in green paint, the wings a hand print in blue paint
Hummingbird craft based on a design by www.LearnCreateLove.com

NPS/Kerry Muhl

Make

Create your own Handprint & Footprint Hummingbird. Click the link for directions.

Materials

  • paper such as cardstock
  • paint brush
  • tempera paint or something similar (3 colors)
  • hand and foot

Look/Listen

Watch a short video of biologists at Capulin Volcano National Monument in New Mexico studying hummingbirds.

Hear the hum of a male ruby-throated hummingbird.

Hear the call of a male ruby-throated hummingbird.

See a male’s iridescent throat feathers. They look black then change color.

Can you call like a ruby-throated hummingbird? Chee dit, chee dit, chee dit!

Move

Hummingbirds flap their wings 53 times a second. Pretend to flap your wings like a hummingbird. Fly forwards. Fly backwards. Search for anything red or orange around your house. When you find one of these “flowers,” flap your wings as you hover in front of it to feed with your long bill.

Find

Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in North America. During warm weather they can be seen zipping between red or orange flowers. If you wear those colors, they might check you out. Go outside for a short walk. Are there any flowers blooming? Search for anything that is red or orange.

A green, iridescent hummingbird rests on a small tree branch, facing away from the camera

Female hummingbird

A female hummingbird blends into the forest at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio. Credit: © Sue Simenc

A green and white hummingbird hovers in front of a cluster of small, white flowers, feeding

Male hummingbird

A male hummingbird visits a flower at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio. His red throat looks black in the shade. Credit: © Jim Roetzel

Learn More

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has put together a wonderful collection of bird sounds, photos, and other information. Click to learn more about the ruby-throated hummingbird.

Last updated: December 8, 2020