Life of the Hummingbird
Hummingbirds are fascinating and enchanting little birds. This article will have a deep look at how hummingbirds are different from other birds. I’m sure you will learn a lot here
Hummingbirds are amazing, captivating and remarkable. Did you know that there are 350 species of Hummingbirds and they all live in the Western Hemisphere? Most live near the equator, but 15 species live in the United States. They happen to be the smallest warm-blooded creatures. Due to having a special flexible shoulder they can do a figure eight with their wings enabling them to fly backwards and to hover which no other bird can do. They can even fly upside down and backwards! They are very agile in the air making them unique among the avians. Adult hummingbirds lack down which could keep them warm. Hummers can live up to 12 years.
The primary food of the Hummingbird is flower nectar, but they also eat bugs for protein. They must eat half of their body weight in nectar, which means visiting about 1000 blooms per day. They have a very fast metabolism. Their heart rate can reach 600 beats per minute or 200 wing beats/second –that’s fast. You can observe them fighting in midair in another bird tries to trespass on their bloom. To conserve energy they will perch and fluff their coat to retain body heat and they then enter torpor (almost like hibernation) at night. Their body temperature can drop by more than half during torpor. Also their heart beat can drop to about 26 beats per minute. Sort of like a very good yogi!
A few hummingbirds only eat flowers that grow close to the ground so that they can hop from one flower to another rather than hovering which takes a lot of energy.
They have some cool names for other countries such as: in Portugal the word is beija flor or flower kisser or in Mexico chuparosa or rose sucker.
Mating Displays of the Male Hummingbird and Reproduction
Many of the species of hummingbirds will perform mating displays that are spectacular. For example, the Anna’s will dive, chirp, spread it’s tail and turn it’s head feathers red. The female hummer raises her young alone. The nest of each species of hummingbird can vary. The eggs that they lay are about the size of a tic-tak breath mint. It takes about 2 weeks to hatch. The mom will feed the baby chicks by regurgitating both nectar and insects.
Anna's Hummingbird Hovers in Place Round Pouf
What Do Hummingbirds Use to Suck Nectar?
It is FALSELY believed that their bill is a tiny straw used to suck the nectar. If you believed this you were wrong. Actually Hummingbirds have a hairy tongue that helps them to lap nectar approximately 13 times per second. Yep that's fast! Several of the hummer breeds consume as much as 3 times their body weight, especially just before taking off for migration in order to store up energy.
How do Hummingbirds Get Along with Hawks?
This may surprise you.
Actually, one species called the Black Chinned Hummingbird will nest in clusters near a Coopers Hawk. This is due to the fact that all the favorite foods of the Coopers Hawk are enemies of the Hummingbird, therefor, the hawk helps protect the hummers by what they eat. Also the hawk does not bother the hummingbirds because they are too small to be tempting to eat. So hummers and hawks make good neighbors.
You will need some good quality of optics to see your Hummingbird friends clearly.
Click the blue text link to purchase
Hummingbird Migration Facts
Most species of hummingbirds are seasonal migrants between the US/Canada and Mexico often they migrate about 6000 miles and they need to cross the Gulf of Mexico – with no food until they land - this is a life challenge. They return to the same breeding grounds yearly. They must go on an eating binge just before making their migration in order to have the energy to sustain the flight. In recent years some migration patterns have changed and now some hummers go to the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area rather than going all the way across the Golf Coast.
There are some breads that do not migrate (or at least not far) and they include the Anna's Hummingbird and the Costa's that stay near the same habitat of Southern California and Arizona.
Gift Someone a Lovely Silver Hummingbird Necklace
She's Bound to Love This
Hats are to Blame for the Murders of Millions of Hummingbirds
There was a period of time when Hummingbird feathers were much sought after because of the iridescent plumage, especially the wing and breast feathers, for decorating fashionable hats.
Humingbird Lego Sculpture Exhibit at the Denver Zoo
Humingbird Lego Sculpture Exhibit at the Zoo
Gift Someone a Hummingbird Feeder this Year
Here's a Reasonably Priced One
This one can feed 8 birds at once.
A Key Fact to Know About Water for Your Hummers
They really prefer water from misters or dripping devices. Remember there is lots of fog or mist in the rainforest where you often find hummers. So incorporate a mister near flowers or by their nest or near food. Their preferred method of bathing is to fly through a mist of water. If you have a pond consider installing a spray feature. This will make your hummers happy!
Hummingbird Throw Blanket
Humingbird Habitats are Threatened
There is a very special species of hummer called the Spatule Tail from Peru that faces extinction due to habitat loss. It is pretty spectacular to watch the Spatule tail twirt its tail to display and attract a mate. They have recently created the Spatule Tail Reserve Bird Sanctuary where they have planted 17,000 trees in an attempt to save this species of hummingbird.
Decorate Your Home with a Pretty Hummingbird Pillow
Why Are They Called Hummers?
Have you ever heard a hummingbird bombard past your ear? Question explained. Their wings beat so fast that it makes a distinct humming sound when they fly.
Hummingbird Postage Stamps
Hummer at a Feeder in Morrison Colorado
Some Other Articles I've Written
Black-chinned Hummingbird photo taken by M. Camblin at Echo Lake Colorado
Send a Hummingbird Holiday Greeting This Year
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