Hummingbirds Facts

Hummingbirds are incredible when you discover them in nature or in the city. These are birds and not insects and they often mesmerize anyone who sees them.

Their quickly moving wings and little bodies move in smooth precision. No other bird has as many interesting things as the Hummingbird. Why? These birds are mesmerizing because of their long beaks, wing speed, tiny size, and even colors

If you want to find a Hummingbird, you can find these birds in the Americas. Overall, there are various and hundreds of species in North America; from Alaska to Argentina.

Learn more about these unforgettable birds below!

The smallest and lightest bird in the world is the Hummingbird

smallest and lightest bird in the world

Birds are already fairly small, but it does not compare to the smallest bird in the world. The hummingbird is unique. In fact, the hummingbird is so small that it is lighter than an American dime!

Among the variety of hummingbirds you have some that are so small that many would be shocked. A particular hummingbird from Cuba, called the Bee hummingbird, is only about 2 inches long and only weighs around 1.6 grams or .056 ounces!?

In general, the average size of these birds is tiny. Other types of hummingbirds include the Esmeraldas Woodstar from Ecuador or the Frilled Coquette from Brazil. In all of Brazil, and most of South America, the Frilled Coquette, less than 3 inches long, is considered the smallest bird.


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The Hummingbird name has a special meaning that relates to the bird

Hummingbird special meaning

Hummingbirds have a name with a special meaning. In general, the name of the bird comes from the bird itself. There is a hum that the hummingbird makes that is special so the name of the bird is fitting.

In the United States, the hummingbird is linked with various ideals and moods. For example, the hummingbird is often connected to the concept of healing, wisdom, and as well endurance. Some people even think that the hummingbird is spiritual and has otherworldly powers.

The hummingbird makes its sound by beating its wings. The sound is very specific to the Hummingbird in general because the flap of the beating wings is at a particular audio range. The hum of the hummingbird is related to the name for this reason overall.


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The Hummingbird has the ability to formulate structured songs

hummingbird singing

Hummingbirds are not parrots but there is an ability for these birds to organize and learn to put together sounds. For example, the hummingbird can put together chirps, whistles, and squeaks overall.

The advantage that the hummingbirds have is through their genetic expression and ability to receive sounds through imitating. Therefore, the hummingbird has some similarity to the parrot in a variety of ways. At one time, the genetic origin of the bird was similar to these since ancient times dating back 66 million years.

For example, the blue throated Humming has a vocal frequency of from around 1.8 Kilohertz (kHz) to about 30 kHz. This particular hummingbird can fly sing while at the same time catching small flying insects.


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Hummingbirds are the only birds in the world that can fly backwards

fly backwards

Birds are fascinating, but the one thing that separates this bird from everything else is its flight pattern and directional flexibility. For example, the hummingbird has the ability to fly backwards where most are not able to fly all but only one direction.

The design of the hummingbird has given its special ability. For example, the wing of the hummingbird is quite different overall. There is a unique joint that creates the advantage for the hummingbird. The ball and socket join means the bird has the ability for 180 degree rotations.

Lastly, another fascinating thing about the hummingbird wing is the flying pattern. The hummingbird  can have their wings in  a figure eight pattern. This figure eight pattern means the bird can easily move backward in the air at any time.


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Hummingbirds travel farther distances than any other bird in North America

Hummingbirds meaning

Many would not realize that Hummingbirds travel farther in distance than any other bird in North America. The distance they travel is quite amazing considering how small these birds are in general. All in all, hummingbirds are long distance migrators as birds.

The patterns for Hummingbirds are usually depending on the seasonal changes. For example, the hummingbirds will be in Central America or Mexico for the winter months. Once the Spring comes around some of the hummingbirds do migrate to North America.

In summary, these birds fly during the daytime to take advantage of the various nectar sources. For example, Rufous hummingbirds travel 4,000 miles from Mexico to Alaska every spring every year! Another type of hummingbird, another type of hummingbird during the colder time of the year spends time in southern Mexico and northern Panama.


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Hummingbirds can die quickly if they don’t eat within hours

If a hummingbird does not eat enough during the day it can die quickly. This is a strange characteristic of the Hummingbird. Basically, by not feeding continually the hummingbirds can starve quickly because of their frenetic and hyperactive behaviour.

Hummingbirds can quickly get tired and overexert because of their behaviour and intense flying patterns. Many Hummingbirds would generally be flying and feeding during the day and naturally sleeping and resting at night. A hummingbird can starve to death within several hours.

Hummingbirds have to take a lot of time to clean and maintain their feathers for flying and hygiene. In summary, The hummingbird’s feathers are quite important as well. Hummingbirds have to stay very light to maintain their migratory patterns, habits, and more to keep alive.


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The Life expectancy of the average Hummingbird is shorter than many realize

Hummingbird Life expectancy

The average Hummingbird lives around 3 to 5 years. Hummingbirds are susceptible to more climate issues and difficulties than most birds. The Hummingbird has to deal with a challenging metabolism as well as man made hazards and natural disasters.

Young hummingbirds have to grapple with rain, hail, stronger than usual wind, predators like snakes, ants and even larger birds. When a hummingbird is actively flying it is going around homes, electrical pylons, buildings, and more. Danger is everywhere.

In particular,  migration is usually a challenge for hummingbirds. For example, when a hummingbird flies long distances there are flight challenges. For instance, the hummingbirds have to deal with head winds, hurricanes, storms and cold fronts to fly through. It has been claimed, there was a Ruby-Throated hummingbird that lived 6 years and 11 months.


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Hummingbirds are able to digest and eat quicker than most animals

Hummingbird eating

Hummingbirds are fast and don’t waste time. In many cases, the hummingbirds have to act fast because it is a matter of life and death and ultimately survival. The reality of Hummingbirds and their metabolism is quite unique.

For example, Hummingbirds are able to completely digest their food in 20 minutes. It may only be 20 minutes, but the hummingbird is able to digest with great efficiency.

The hummingbird has the ability to extract around 90% sucrose, while feeding, and eliminate the water as well. Watching hummingbirds in action is quite a sight to see because of their movements. For example, when a hummingbird is perched, they are not relaxing or resting but instead they are busily digesting and eating food.


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Hummingbirds are only really found in one part of the world

hummingbird migration

If you are trying to find hummingbirds in Europe or parts of Asia then you will have little luck. Hummingbirds are mainly found in one part of the world, which is the Americas from Canada to Argentina. Most hummingbirds are found in the Andes Mountains in South America.

Hummingbirds are only really found in the eastern and central part of the United States and Canada. If you were to be in these parts of the Americas there are a few common types of Hummingbirds. For example, there is the Ruby-Throated hummingbird, as well there being other Hummingbird species in the Gulf region around Mexico.

If you are in the western part of the United States,the types most commonly found include Anna’s, Black-Chinned, Calliope, Broad Tailed hummingbirds, and Rufous hummingbirds. Of the Hummingbirds in the Americas, there are 360 species.


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Hummingbirds are often in danger of predators in various environments

Hummingbirds hunted by spyder

Many may not believe it, but Hummingbirds do hunt for their prey. However, as they search for food they are also victims of various animals and even insects. The hummingbird goes for certain things to feed on for its ever persistent appetite and flight patterns.

For example, Hummingbirds may be killed by dragonflies, some different types of spiders, even frogs, and surprisingly even bigger birds. So, as the hummingbirds feed they continually need to be defensive and strategic.

In general, a hummingbird has a remarkable advantage when feeding; the birds are small and extremely quick. Moreover, hummingbirds of all kinds have amazing flight abilities. But, the threat of attack is always looming. Domestic cats are the biggest dangers to hummingbirds because cats often stalk, catch, and kill these birds.

 

 

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