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The Hummingbird Facts and Information
about feeding, hand-feeding, range, size, flight, torpor, where they sleep,
migration and more ......
is a small bird of the Trochilidae family.
The rapid beating of the hummingbirds
wings (60 to 80 beats per second) makes the distinctive humming sound from
which they get their name.
Interesting facts about
the hummingbird is the smallest
bird and also the smallest of all animals that have a backbone.
they have no sense of smell
because the hummingbird can rotate its wings in a
circle, they are the only bird that can fly forwards, backwards, up,
down ,sideways and hover in mid air.
to conserve energy while they sleep or when food
is scarce, they can go into a hibernation-like state (torpor) where
their metabolic rate is slowed to !/15th of its normal rate.
during migration, some hummingbirds make a
non-stop 500 mile flight over the Gulf of Mexico.
during courtship dives they can reach
speeds up to 60 miles per hour and can average speeds of 20 to 30 miles
they are the second largest family of birds
with 343 species.
their wings can beat their wings up to 80
times a second during normal flight and up to 200 times per second during
a courtship dive.
the hummingbird has a
heart rate that can reach up to 1,260 beats per minute.
percentage wise, the
hummingbird has the largest brain of all birds (4.2%
of its total body weight).
they have very weak feet and use them mainly just
The Hummingbird Range
(where do hummingbirds live in the
Hummingbirds are found only in North America and South America.
Their range extends as far north as southeastern Alaska and extends as far south as southern Chile.
South America has the biggest variety of hummingbirds and more than half the
species are found there. The country of Ecuador in northwestern South America
has the largest number of hummingbirds of any one country with 163 different
There are over fifty species of hummingbirds that regularly breed in Mexico.
Hummingbird's size ranges from the
smallest (the Bee Hummingbird of Cuba that weighs about 2.2 grams) ..... to the
largest (the Giant Hummingbird of South America that weighs about 20 grams).
The smallest hummingbird, and as a
matter of fact, the smallest bird on earth, is the Bee Hummingbird. With a
length of only 2.25 inches, the Bee Hummingbird isn't much larger than a bee.
The largest hummingbird, the
Hummingbird, is about 8 inches in length, or about the size of a large
that most people are familiar with..... weighs about 3 grams. A hummingbirds weight will
almost double this amount as they put on fat in getting ready for migration.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are about 3 1/2 inches
from the tip of their beaks to the tip of their tales.
The female Ruby-throated hummingbirds are about 15
to 20% larger than the male Ruby-throated hummingbird.
Giant hummingbird videos:
This baby Giant Hummingbird landed on our ledge. Normally they are very
timid, but this one stayed around for over an hour. Even as a baby they are
still larger than all other hummingbirds.
Most people recognize hummingbirds as the very tiny creatures we often
see near our homes. However, not all hummingbirds are small. Giant
hummingbirds are the largest of the 320 hummingbird species. The North
Carolina Zoo exhibits five giant hummingbirds, which are very rare in
captivity, in its Sonoran Desert habitat.
Hummingbird Flight Information
Unlike other birds, a hummingbird can rotate its
wings in a circle. Because of this special hummingbird fact, they are the only
bird that can fly both forwards and backwards. They can also fly up, down,
sideways, hover in one spot, or fly upside down for short distances. The
flight muscles make up 30% of a hummingbirds total body weight.
The Hummingbird video:
watch this incredible video of a hummingbirds wing movement in super slow
motion. They flap their wings up to 70 times per second; it's
heart rate can reach 1,260 beats per minute.
Normal flight speed for hummingbirds is about 25 miles per hour, but
they have been clocked at speeds in excess of fifty miles per hour during their
During normal flight the wings beat about 60-80
times per second. In their courtship dives they might beat up to 200 times per
A courtship dive is an elaborate display of flight
performed by the male hummingbird at the start of the nesting season. The male
hummingbird will climb high into the air (up to 60 feet or more) and dive
towards the ground and forming a wide arc, climbs back into the air to about the
same height. These dives, forming a wide U-shaped pattern, my be performed 3 or
4 times in rapid succession. These hummingbird courtship dives are performed to attracted
the attention of the female hummingbirds and to ward off other male hummingbirds
that might be in the area.
Click on the play button below to view the Anna's
hummingbird video on courtship which shows everything from the adding of pieces of
lichen and plant down to the nest, to the courtship dive of the male bird to get
the females attention, the male and female Anna's in flight together, followed
by the eggs in the nest. Then see the female Anna's hummingbird feeding the very
tiny newly hatched baby hummingbirds. See the baby hummingbirds test their wings
and finally the female Anna's hummingbird feeding the baby hummingbird after it
has left the nest.
First hummingbird video of the Marvelous
Spatuletail's amazing courtship display by Greg R. Homel, Natural Elements
Productions and distributed by American Bird Conservancy,
http://www.abcbirds.org. This rare hummingbird inhabits the highlands of
more facts about the hummingbird:
Hummingbird Life span
Most hummingbirds unfortunately die during their first year but, those that do
survive that first year have an average hummingbird life span of 3
to 4 years.
The longest recorded life span is from a female
Broad-tailed Hummingbird that was tagged then recaptured 12 years later, making
her at least 12 years old.
The oldest known surviving Ruby-throated
Hummingbird is a banded bird that was 6 years 11 months old.
The oldest known hummingbird life span for a Rufous Hummingbird is a banded
bird that was 8 years 1 month old.
The Hummingbird Feeding Information (interesting hummingbird facts)
They will feed 5 to 8 times every hour
for 30 to 60 seconds at a time.
The large portion of a hummingbirds diet
is sugar which they get from flower nectar and tree sap. They also
eat insects and pollen to get protein to build muscle.
They are also easily attracted to
the Hummingbird nectar feeders.
has several features that makes it well worth the price.
patented Nectar guard tips which are flexible membranes attached to the feed
ports that prohibit entry from flying insects, but allow Hummingbirds to feed as
usual. The HummZinger also has a built in ant moat that will stop crawling
insects from getting to the nectar. It also has raised flower ports that divert
This mid-size nectar feeder has a 12 oz. capacity and
can be hung or post mounted with hardware provided. It has four feeding ports
for hummingbirds and is made of unbreakable polycarbonate. Easy to clean.
For ease of cleaning and protection from bees,
wasps and ants, this feeder can't be beat.
Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism rate
of any animal on earth. They have a high breathing rate, a high heart rate, and
a high body temperature. To maintain all of this and to provide energy for
flying they may consume anywhere from 2/3 to 3 times their body weight in food
The Hummingbirds' bills are long and tapered
to match perfectly with the tubular shaped blooms on which they like to feed.
Their tongue is grooved on the sides to collect nectar which they lap up at the
rate of 13 licks per second.
They are very territorial and will perch
in trees, vines or bushes, between feedings to watch the area..... and will
attack other birds that might try to feed at their food source.
Theys are also very helpful in
pollinating the plants on which they feed. There are some plants that are only
pollinated by hummingbirds. As they lap up the nectar, pollen from the bloom is
rubbed off onto the hummingbird, then carried to the next bloom as it continues
the hummingbird video: facts
about the hummingbird, flowers to attract hummingbirds, tips on attracting
hummingbirds, tips on hummingbird feeders, making hummingbird nectar, hanging
feeders and keeping ants away from the hummingbird feeder and more interesting
watch the video to see hundreds of
hummingbirds feeding at the same time at Hummingbird's Haven.......incredible!
another video at
interesting hummingbird facts cont.
The Hummingbird Sounds
The hummingbird sounds are of two types, vocalizations
and the sounds their wings make.
Hummingbirds lack a true song. Most
of their vocalizations consists of chirping hummingbird sounds.
Humming birds frequently vocalize to
attract a mate or when they are excited.
They are named for the humming
sound they make through the rapid movement of their wings, when they are in
hummingbird video: female Ruby-throated
hummingbird sounds....you can really hear the hum of her wings as they beat about 60-80 times per second
video on the hummingbird sounds:
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have analyzed the chirp
made by male Anna's hummingbirds as they swoop down towards a female.
hummingbird sounds video: A hummingbird (possibly
a juvenile Anna's) chirping
video about the hummingbird sounds: Colibri hummingbird
Torpor is a hibernation-like state that
hummingbird can enter to help conserve energy.
While in a state of torpor, the humming bird will
lower its body temperature by about 20 degrees and up to 50 degrees. This will
help the bird conserve energy on cold nights or anytime that food might be
The next morning the bird can raise its metabolism
and get its body temperature back to normal usually within a few minutes but, it
can take up to an hour.
They can even lower their heart rate from
500 beats per minute to as few as 50.
Also to conserve energy, hummingbirds may even stop
breathing for periods of time.
Even with all these energy conservation abilities, a
cold night or difficulty locating enough food for a day, can prove to be fatal
to the hummingbird.
Where do hummingbirds sleep?
They will find a tree in an area that
offers some protection, where they will perch on a tree branch to sleep.
Fir trees are trees that are thick and offer protection from the elements, that
hummingbirds like to use. The hummingbird will grasp the branch with its feet
and go into a state of torpor to help conserve energy while it sleeps.
While in this state of semi-hibernation the
hummingbird will sometimes loosen its grasp just a little and will be found
hanging upside down on the branch. When the sun comes out and warms them up
though, they will resume their normal activities. Below you will find several
sleeping hummingbird videos that show them hanging upside down in a state of
here's a where do hummingbirds sleep video:
Below is a video that talks about torpor and about
where do hummingbirds sleep.
here's another video on where do hummingbirds
Hummingbirds go into a state of torpor when they
sleep (this one was hanging upside down outside our window for about 30
minutes). In this state of torpor, they become hypothermic, conserving 50 times
less energy, have almost no pulse and only become alert when approached.
Untrue hummingbird facts: hummingbirds migrate on the
backs of geese.
Another of the untrue facts:
keeping your feeders out too long in the fall will upset the hummingbirds' normal
Their migration is causes by hormonal changes
that take place within the hummingbird's body. These hormonal changes are
triggered by the changing length of daylight. Since it is the shorter hours of
daylight in the fall that causes the hummingbirds to migrate, you don't have to
worry that keeping your feeders out too long in the fall will cause the birds to
hang around and not migrate.
Many species of Hummingbirds that migrate to the
United States must travel very long distances from Mexico and Central America to
get here. Many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds must travel 2,000 miles to go from
Panama to their destination in Canada.
One of the most incredible facts about hummingbirds is that this 2,000 mile
journey will also include a
500 mile non-stop flight to cross the Gulf of Mexico.