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Weighty Stuff

The following chart shows the weights (grams) of summer and winter Ruby-throated and Rufous Hummingbirds, and American Robins for comparison:

Average Weights in Grams
Winter Male
Breeding Male
Winter Female
Breeding Female
Rufous
Hummingbird
3.27
3.34
3.35
3.58
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
3.08
3.36
3.17
3.81
American
Robin
86.2
84.8
83.6
75.0

Think about what these numbers mean, and about the different problems faced by robins and hummingbirds as you answer these questions:

  1. Which are heavier: male or female hummingbirds?
  2. Which are heavier: male or female robins?
  3. Why the difference between hummingbirds and robins?
  4. Which are heavier: winter hummingbirds or breeding hummingbirds?
  5. Which gains more weight in spring: male or female hummingbirds?
  6. Why do you think this is?
  7. Which loses more weight in spring: male or female robins?
  8. Why do you think this is?
  9. Which are heavier: winter robins or breeding robins?
  10. Why the difference between hummingbirds and robins?

See our answers and discussion here.


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