Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Jackie Bussjaeger
This is Montana Editor 

Hummingbirds of Western Montana

Jewels of the Sky:


Jackie Bussjaeger, This is Montana

A male rufous hummingbird visits a feeder near the Lochsa River, just over the Idaho border.

Hummingbirds are stunning creatures: not only for their jewel-like beauty and gravity-defying aerial acrobatics but also for their sheer fortitude. Every fall, they migrate thousands of miles to Mexico or Central America. Their wings thrum at up to 80 beats per second. When they sleep, their body drops into a state of torpor: their heartbeat and breathing slow to a state almost near death. Yet when they awake, their first order of business is hovering about trees and blossoms, hunting for nectar and insects. Few birds are so full of life and energy.

Western Montana is home to three species...

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