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Did you know that in the US, the first Saturday in September is National Hummingbird Day? You do now! And what a terrific bird to celebrate. Hummingbirds, such as the Anna's hummingbird in this photo, are crucial to healthy ecosystems. Many flowers have evolved funnel-shaped blooms specifically to attract hummingbirds—large insects like bumblebees can’t always squeeze into these tubular blossoms. But hummingbirds can plunge their long, narrow bills deep into the blooms to find the nectar that accumulates in the base and in the process, they spread pollen from flower to flower.
They're also highly adaptable. While many other hummingbirds on the Pacific Coast of North America migrate to warmer areas as fall and winter approach, the Anna's hummingbird can survive the cooler temps by bulking up its fat stores or, if necessary, slowing down its metabolism to cope with the cold.
If you don't know the words to the hummingbird national anthem, it's easy: Just hum along.