Hummingbird Day set for Swan Lake

Meet the “mysterious” little birds up close Feb. 26

They can produce 700 wing beats in 10 seconds and lay eggs somewhere between the size of a Tic Tac and a jellybean – impressive when mom’s entire body is roughly nine centimetres long.

They’re hummingbirds, and they’ll be celebrated Feb. 26 from noon to 3 p.m. at Swan Lake Nature House during the nature sanctuary’s annual Hummingbird Day event.

“People are fascinated by them because they’re like little tiny jewels,” said Renée Cenerini, naturalist at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.

“They can commonly be seen around Victoria, but because they’re so fast and so little, they’re kind of mysterious.”

Unlike their counterparts the Rufous hummingbirds, which migrate south in the winter, the Anna’s remain in the region solely because of available bird feeders.

“The fact that they’re here is entirely human-related,” said Cenerini, who recommends people use a four-to-one ratio of water to sugar, without dyes or honey, to sustain the tiny animals.

Without the human help, the birds would migrate to Baja California in the winter.

“The Anna’s stay here because they know how good they’ve got it.”

Learn to distinguish between the two species during Hummingbird Day. The family friendly event includes crafts, stories, songs and games devoted to all things hummingbird. Dried bird specimens and nests will also be on display.

nnorth@saanichnews.com