Simply Taylored – Banner
Disneyland – Diamond Celebration – Banner
Beyond Harmony – Banner
Santa Clarita Ballet – Little Mermaid – Banner
Olive Terrace Bar and Grill – Banner
Action Family Counseling – Banner
Gerard Cosmetics – Banner
SCV Senior Center – Touch A Truck 2015 – Banner
California High Speed Rail – Palmdale – Banner
Union Bank – Banner
Adage IT – Banner
Academy Swim Club – Banner
Samuel Dixon – Rubber Ducky – 2015 – Banner
Bouquet Gardens – Banner
Valencia Town Center – Farmer’s Market – Banner
AV Party Rental – Banner
Green Convergence – Sun Power – Banner
All Americans Bail Bonds – Banner
Hugo Naturals – Banner
Brent’s Carpet One – Banner
IHOP – Banner
Patterson’s Collision Center – Banner
Nothing Bundt Cakes – Banner
Newhall Land – Banner
Galpin Motors – Banner
Oakmont of Santa Clarita – Banner
Newhall Land – 2015 – Banner
Safety Town – Banner
College Of The Canyons – Banner
Facey – Banner
Santa Clarita Transit – Dump the Pump – Banner
Santa Clarita Autosound – Banner
It is forecast to be Clear at 7:00 PM PDT on June 01, 2015
Home » Santa Clarita News » Environment » SCV Outdoor Report » Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Refueling Station, Part II
Santa Clarita Outdoor Report:  Refueling Station, Part II

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Refueling Station, Part II

Hummingbirds are “high performance” flying machines.  Let’s take a look at the stats.  According to one birding website,  “25-30 percent of a hummingbird’s weight is in its pectoral muscles, the muscles principally responsible for flight.”  Their average heart rate is more than “1,200 beats per minute” and at rest, “a hummingbird takes an average of 250 breaths per minute.”  So I wonder, what fuels this “high performance” flyer?  Do hummingbirds seek out high-octane premium nectar, or can they make do with unleaded “regular”?  And if they’re searching for high-octane, how do they find it?


Here’s what we know.  A hummingbird’s primary fuel is nectar.  According to the San Diego Zoo, “about 90 percent of their diet is nectar from flowers.”


We also know that hummingbird-pollinated flowers are often red and tubular-shaped. Here’s one local example, a Humboldt Lily (Lilium humboldtii)


And here’s another, a Scarlet Bugler (Penstemon centranthifolius).


Did you notice that both these flowers face downward?  Hummingbird-pollinated flowers are more likely to face downward.

So why would hummingbirds be attracted to flowers that face downwards?  After all, no matter which way the flowers point, hummingbirds have to hover in order to feed.  And as we learned two weeks ago, hovering is not energy efficient.  In fact, researchers at the University of California found that flying either backwards or forwards was “20% more efficient than hovering.”  So there’s something about flowers facing downward that’s worth that extra expenditure of energy.

That “something” might be high-octane premium nectar.  We know that the amount and concentration of nectar is affected by environmental conditions.  A flower that faces downward would be less likely to have it’s nectar diluted by rain or contaminated by airborne spores. 

To put it in terms that we’re familiar with, imagine taking your high-performance sports car to a gas station.  You want three things: (1) high-octane premium gasoline, (2) uncontaminated fuel that won’t foul your spark plugs or fuel injector and (3) enough fuel to fill your tank. 

Perhaps gas stations should consider changing their logo to look something like this:



If you missed Part I, read SCV Outdoor Report:  Refueling Station, Part I



Upcoming Outdoor Events: 

Trail Maintenance Schedule.  Come join our volunteers as they help maintain our trails.  Contact Steve at for time and place.

Wednesday mornings, March 6, 13, 20, & 27.
Saturday mornings, March 2 & 16.

Saturday, March 16, 8:00 -10:00 AM.  “Up with the Birds” at Towsley Canyon.  Meet in the parking lot at the gate.  Click here for a map and directions.

Saturday, February 23, 1:00 – 3:00 PM.  “Early Spring Wildflowers” at Towsley Canyon.  Meet in the parking lot at the gate.  Click here for a map and directions.

New trail maps available.  If you’d like to explore a bit on your own, the City of Santa Clarita has a website with trail maps of our local open spaces.

There’s also a new website for bicycle riders.  


You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on “The SCV Outdoor Report”, brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

For the complete MRCA hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, click here or go to    

Or check out our Facebook page  – L.A. Mountains.

Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, Or drop us a line at

Santa Clarita Outdoor Report: Refueling Station, Part II

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About KHTS AM 1220

Beyond Harmony – News Banner
AV Party Rental – News Banner
Action Family Counseling – News Banner
College Of The Canyons – News Banner
All American Bail Bonds – News Banner
Hugo Naturals – News Banner
Academy Swim Club – News Banner
Newhall Land – Tile
Beyond Harmony – Tile
Simply Taylored – Tile
Santa Clarita Autosound – Tile
Valencia Town Center – Farmer’s Market – Tile
Broadscast – Tile