They’re magical, colorful, and incredibly fast. With over 300 species, the hummingbird continues to mesmerize individuals with their jewel-toned feathers and lightning-fast speed. Known for the buzzing sound they make when they flutter around, which actually awarded them their name, these incredible birds are native to the New World and can’t be found in the wild anywhere else outside of the Western Hemisphere.
This month on September 5th, we celebrated National Hummingbird Day… what a great opportunity to learn more about this magical bird. For those who are interested in discovering expert tips on how to attract more hummingbirds to your backyard, patio, or balcony, you’ve come to the right place!
Hummingbird Information and Facts
These tiny creatures pack a lot of energy and power into a very small package. As they are widely known for their speed, here are some fast facts and information about hummingbirds to try to match their velocity:
The world’s smallest bird, the bee hummingbird, is on average roughly two inches long and weighs in at a whopping 2 grams.
These buzzing birds can’t use their feet to walk or hop but they can use them to scoot over on a branch, as well as to clean their feathers.
Hummingbirds lay teeny tiny eggs. In fact, they lay the smallest eggs of any species of bird — they can be smaller than a jelly bean!
A hummingbird’s beak doesn’t vacuum up nectar. Their tongue actually flicks the nectar up at a rate of 10 to 15 licks per second.
The hummingbird can reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour and their wings can flap at roughly 80 beats per second.
Although these birds have no sense of smell, their sense of eyesight is impeccable.
These talented birds are the only birds that can fly backwards.
Despite their size, there are hundreds of interesting facts and information about hummingbirds. Interested in learning more? Discover more facts about hummingbirds here.
How to Attract More Hummingbirds
Are you looking to draw in more of these alluring birds to your backyard or balcony? Luckily, there are a number of ways to attract more hummingbirds to your outdoor oasis. One simple tactic to utilize is to use a bright red hummingbird feeder. However, you also need to be strategic about where you place the feeder for optimal results. Consider hanging the feeder near a natural perching area that offers shelter, as opposed to out in the open. On top of this, try to place the feeder out of direct sunlight to slow down the fermentation process. Then, to ensure the hummingbirds keep coming back for more, routinely check on the feeder to make sure it never runs out of nectar.
If you want to go above and beyond and you have the space, you can create a hummingbird garden with a variety of their favorite flowers, trees, and shrubs. If you opt to do this, it is recommended that you utilize a number of native plants and flowers in varying colors. When picking out flowers, aim for flowers that have longer, more tubular shapes as these attract hummingbirds the most.
Best Time of Day for Hummingbirds
If you want to have better luck spotting a hummingbird in your backyard, it’s important to know the best time of day for hummingbirds. The best time of day to watch hummingbirds is usually during dawn or dusk or even in the early morning or late afternoon, just before the sun goes down. Although these are their favorite times to eat, hummingbirds can still be spotted throughout the day. For those in the U.S., hummingbirds are more active and common during the spring in April and May as they are migrating north.
With National Hummingbird Day this month, be sure to take a moment to discover all of the fun and interesting information and facts about hummingbirds. Then, if you want to be able to witness some of these magnificent creatures for yourself, consider applying some of these techniques to your backyard, patio, or balcony to attract more hummingbirds to your space. [DISCLAIMER] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.
A Brief History of Beagles: From Hunters to Family Dogs
With big floppy ears and the signature multi-colored coat — Beagles are just as fun-
loving and sweet as they appear! If you are looking to welcome a new pup into your
family, a Beagle could be an excellent choice. This breed is loving, curious, and
extremely loyal — you’ll never have a dull day with a Beagle in your home.
What Were Beagles Bred For?
With a short yet sturdy body, this breed is built to be the ultimate hunting
companion. Due to their keen sense of smell, Beagles were originally bred as hound
dogs for hunting small game. Interestingly, the pups were being bred for specific
hunting needs; they were taller in Europe for fox hunting and smaller in the United
States to hunt rabbits.
History of Beagles
The history of the Beagle is not as precise as some other breeds we have profiled.
While ancient Greek documents place Beagle-like dogs as far back as 400 B.C., the
breed, as we know it now, was not formally recognized until the 19th century. During
this time, Beagles were very popular in England, and it wasn’t much longer before
the breed became a favorite in the United States. The American Kennel Club (AKC)
started recognizing the Beagle as a breed in 1884. Today, they are a consistently
popular choice for family dogs, appearing regularly on the AKC’s Top Ten Most
Popular Dog Breeds.
Different Beagle Breeds
While there is technically only one breed of Beagle, there are two different varieties
of Beagles that are recognized by the American Kennel Club. The only feature that
separates the two varieties is their size. One type stands below 13 inches tall while
the other stands between 13 to 15 inches tall. Other than the slight difference in
height, no other physical or personality traits differ between these two varieties of
Beagles. Both types can — and should — weigh anywhere between 18 and 30 pounds.
Since this breed is susceptible to weight problems in their old age, it’s important
to maintain their activity levels as they age.
Beagles are black, brown, and white in color and are relatively easy to care for in
regards to grooming. A proper brushing once a week will cut down on the amount
of bathing they need unless they are used for hunting. They do, however, need to
have their ears checked frequently to help avoid infections.
Beagles do best in homes that have backyards, allowing them the freedom to
wander around. While all dogs should be microchipped, it’s very important for
Beagles because their mischievous behavior can get the best of them. Beagles
follow their noses, so if they escape the yard, they can wander further from
home in pursuit of whatever scent is enticing them. Do your best to get them
outside and exercising, which should cut down on some of their pent-up energy and
keep them on their best behavior in the house.
Beagles of all ages do well in homes with adults, kids, and other pets. They are at
their best in extremely social settings and typically do not like being left home
alone. If they become bored, they will find things to occupy their time until you
return, which can include chewing shoes and furniture.
Beagles are a smart, curious, and energetic breed that packs a lot of love and
sweetness into a small package. Caution: don’t think there won’t be moments where
you are driven utterly crazy by their mischievous behavior! Please remember —
purebred Beagles are popular and lucrative “products” for puppy mills. There are
many wonderful Beagle rescue organizations and animal advocates working hard to
prevent the puppy mills from mass breeding. Consider adopting from a local Beagle
Siamese Persian Cats: From Royalty to Disney Movie Stars & Beyond
Despite how the Disney movie The Lady and The Tramp may have depicted this breed,
Siamese Persian cats are actually very loving, social, and outgoing. These cats are truly
elegant looking with their sleek bodies and beautiful eyes. They’re known as a natural
breed, having evolved through the ages, first appearing in a Thai manuscript of cat
poems believed to date as far back as the 14th century. Today, the Siamese cat has
contributed key features and personality traits to related breeds such as the Balinese,
the Oriental (the Himalayan division of the Persian), the Tonkinese, and the Havana
History of the Siamese Persian Cat
The history of the Siamese Persian cat is just as storied. As one of the oldest breeds of cat,
the Siamese Persian was indigenous to Siam (known today as Thailand) for thousands of
years. It is believed that in the earliest days, Siamese cats were bred and reserved for Thai
royalty. The Siamese breed itself was not introduced to the West until the nineteenth
century. In 1878, the first Siamese Persian cat was introduced to the U.S. by a diplomat
stationed at the consulate in Bangkok, who gifted “Siam” to First Lady Mrs. Rutherford B.
Siamese Persian Cats: The Purrfect Personalities
The Siamese Persian breed’s striking features and loving personalities have seen its
popularity continue to grow in the United States. Along with their beautiful looks,
Siamese Persian cats have a personality that encompasses everything a cat lover would
look for in a feline friend! Being social and extremely vocal is in their nature, and it shows
in their day-to-day activity. They usually enjoy being with people and are known to
follow you around “talking” and “helping” wherever they can! Siamese Persian cats are
also great with children and dogs who like cats.
Caring for a Siamese Persian Cat
Overall, the care for these beautiful cats is straightforward. Siamese Persian cats are
typically indoor cats, so that adds to the ease of keeping them clean. They have short
hair and only require monthly brushing to remove any loose hair. They tend to be very
healthy, but collectively as a breed, they struggle with asthma and congenital heart
The Siamese Persian loves to stay active, which contributes to their sleek body type. It is
recommended to have plenty of physical activities to keep them busy while you are
away, such as tall climbing trees and plenty of interactive toys. It has also been
mentioned that they love to play fetch if trained to do so!
So, if you are looking for a social and talkative feline to add to your family, the Siamese
Persian could be an excellent breed for you! One note: if your schedule has you away
from home for long periods, cattime.com suggests getting two of them. Many do
not like being alone, and having a friend can keep them preoccupied until you
Reptiles and amphibians range from low- to high-maintenance care
Thinking of adding an exotic pet like a reptile or amphibian to your household? While they’re not exactly cuddly and affectionate, many ‘herps’ (coined from the Greek word for creeping thing) can make great pets, but different species will need different levels of owner experience and investment. Because reptiles and amphibians may require varying degrees of specialized care, it’s important to
do some research! Before you consider adopting one of these critters, here’s some basic information on reptiles and amphibians that could help you make the right decision for you and your family!
Low maintenance reptiles and amphibians
For kids and adults who may be allergic to furry or feathered pets or just want a pet that’s out of the norm, low maintenance reptiles and amphibians can be wonderful options. Some notes of caution – many herps do not like being handled and do not do well being handled, so there can be a risk of biting or injury. Low maintenance reptiles and amphibians include corn snakes, bearded dragons, leopard geckos, tortoises, and frogs, making them a great beginner options for families with children.
Smaller carnivorous lizards and amphibians feed on a varied diet that includes insects dusted with supplements, such as calcium and other vitamins. Larger carnivorous reptiles, such as monitor lizards and snakes will eat rodents – whether live, freshly killed or thawed from frozen. Others may need to be fed live crickets, mealworms, cockroaches, or worms.
How long do reptiles live?
Another thing to consider when deciding to adopt a reptile is how long do they live? When properly cared for, many reptiles will live far longer in captivity than in the wild, so owning one may be a longer commitment than having a dog or cat.
Snakes: Many types of snakes can live for decades. Corn snakes have a lifespan of 10-20 years. Ball pythons can live for 20-30 years. Kingsnakes average between 12-15 years. Some can even grow well over 5-feet long, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before bringing a snake home.
Turtles & Tortoises: Turtles are water-lovers; tortoises live on land. Turtles and tortoises have the longest potential lifespan. With proper care, some species can live up to 40 to 60 years or even longer. Tortoises often live to a ripe old age, so they’re definitely a long-term commitment – especially since they could outlive you.
Frogs: It’s difficult to answer this as tracking the lifespan of a single frog is next to impossible unless it’s raised in captivity. Depending on the species, frogs can live anywhere between 2 to 40 years, but the average age to expect a frog or toad to live is about 4 to 15 years.
Setting Up a Healthy Habitat
Aquariums, terrariums, tanks, and other habitats will need some specialized equipment, regular cleaning, and care. Reptiles cannot regulate their own body heat, so you will need to have temperature and brightness-regulating devices like:
● A humidifier to help keep the air warm and moist.
● Daytime lights and heat sources. Reptile tanks need a “hot side” and a “cool side” to regulate body temperature.
● Nighttime lights and heat sources. The cool side of the tank needs infrared heat lamps for nighttime use. Most reptiles – like iguanas – also require ultraviolet light.
● Thermometers. Get two thermometers: one for the hot side and one for the cooler side.
Required Accessories For Reptiles and Amphibians
● Hides where they can retreat from the heat and rest.
● Food and water bowls, some will need deeper water for swimming.
● Tile, newspaper, or reptile carpet bedding.
● Rocks, logs, plants, and other accessories.
Health considerations with reptiles and amphibians
With owning a reptile or amphibian comes some health considerations for both the animal and humans. Regular cleaning of the pet’s habitats, as well as lots of handwashing, is a must to help keep your family safe. All children should be closely supervised when caring for reptiles and amphibians because they can potentially carry Salmonella bacteria.
Each year, around 70,000 people in the U.S. contract salmonellosis from direct or indirect contact with reptiles and amphibians. Children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illness or death. If you or anyone in your household have health conditions that could put you at risk, it may not be the best fit.please consider another type of pet.
While many people would not consider owning these types of pets, some reptiles are prohibited by the Arizona Department of Wildlife. Illegal reptiles (without proper permits/licenses) include exotic venomous reptiles, such as cobras, cottonmouths, copperheads, mambas, etc., and any endangered or protected species. Crocodilians (crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gharials) are also illegal to own without proper permits.
Finally, remember that reptiles and amphibians need veterinary care, too. Regular wellness exams can help keep them happy and healthy for years to come.
Click here for a list of AZPetVet hospitals that treat exotics and reptiles.
Hummingbird facts and myths: Discover the secrets behind these speedy birds
In Arizona, if you’ve ever spent a morning sitting out on your patio enjoying the sun,
gone on a leisurely trail hike, or spent the day at a botanical garden, chances are
you’ve had an encounter with one of the smallest birds in the world — the
hummingbird. These adorable feathered friends grace our desert landscape with
their beauty as they flutter around from flower to flower. While there are over 300
hummingbird species found around the world, only around two dozen can be found
in the U.S.
Hummingbirds may be little, but there are a lot of exciting facts, quirks, and even a
few myths associated with these tiny treasures. Here are 10 interesting facts about
hummingbirds to expand your knowledge of these fascinating birds:
1. The calliope hummingbird is the smallest bird species in the U.S. — measuring
just 3 inches long.
2. Along with being one of the few species of birds that can hover,
hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backward. This fantastic skill is due
to the structure of their wings. Hummingbirds can rotate their wings in a full circle —
change direction, and it’s effectively putting them into reverse!
3. Our tiny feathered friends are not fans of walking, and can only use their feet
to scratch, preen and shuffle side to side on a perch. Hummingbirds’ feet have
evolved and adapted to become smaller to be more efficient flyers, but they’re not
very useful for speed-walking.
4. One common myth about hummingbirds is that they suck nectar up through
their long bills using a force called capillary action. This action can be observed by
placing a very long, thin tube in a glass of water. Without using any suction, water
will travel up the tube. However, the capillary action idea was recently disproven in
2015. Hummingbirds lick up nectar using their long, forked tongues that have hair-
like extensions that open up. Once the bird’s tongue hits the nectar, it retracts,
trapping the liquid inside as the hummingbird pulls its tongue back into its mouth.
5. Want to see a hummingbird’s tongue at work? You’ll need a special camera for
that. A hummingbird can lick up to 13 times per second — so you’ll need to be in
super slow-mo mode!
6. While they may be small, hummingbirds are fierce and are one of the most
aggressive bird species. If you have a hummingbird feeder, you’ll often see one
dominant hummingbird that will guard your backyard as its own to protect its food
source. Hummingbirds are also known to attack other birds, such as crows and
hawks if they invade their space.
7. The sword-billed hummingbird is the only bird in existence that has a bill
that’s longer than its body. In fact, the bill is so long that the hummingbird has to
continually hold it upright if it’s resting on a perch — otherwise, it will topple over.
8. When flying forward, a hummingbird can reach a speed of up to 30 mph.
When diving, these birds can reach up to 60 mph! Despite being incredibly fast,
hummingbirds still have predators that will happily feast on them if they can catch
them. Some of the hummingbirds’ natural predators include owls, praying mantises,
snakes, spiders, and roadrunners, among others.
9. A hummingbird’s wings can flap up to 70 times per second. Hummingbird
hearts can reach a rate of up to 1,260 beats per minute to power their speedy wings
10. Hummingbirds have a speedy metabolism and have to eat about half of their
body weight every day. Our feathered friends have to consume so much food and
be consistently eating — if they slept the same way as humans do, they would starve!
Hummingbirds go into a much deeper form of sleep that’s similar to a mini hibernation. This process slows the bird’s metabolism down enough to make it through the night without needing a midnight snack.
Now that you know 10 interesting facts about hummingbirds, share these tidbits
with friends the next time you one of these speedy birds zooms by. Have a favorite
hummingbird fact that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!