It’s tiny, fast, hungry, and beautiful. Yes, it’s a hummingbird! These little critters are always fun to watch and feed. They also make a really cool humming buzz as they zip past you in the garden or on the patio.
First the stats…
Now some facts…
1.) The number of times a hummingbird’s wings beat is different from one species to another, and ranges from 720 to 5,400 times per minute when hovering!
2.) Hummingbirds can fly in the rain and, like dogs, shake their heads to dispel drops of water. Unlike dogs, however, a hummingbird shakes its head violently, 132 times per second, and rotating 202 degrees—all while flying and maintaining direction!
5.) Approximately 25-30% of a hummingbird’s body weight is flight muscle, as opposed to other birds, which average 15%.
6.) Did you know that they are the only birds that can fly backwards.
7.) Hummers are adept at burning both glucose and fructose, which are the individual components of sugar; a unique trait other vertebrates don’t have.
8.) Hummers are some of the smallest birds in the world, and the bee hummingbird is by far the smallest at just one inch in length, weighing two grams.
9.) Did you know they have no sense of smell?
10.) The hummingbird’s legs and feet are small not very strong, so they are used only for perching, not for walking
11.) A hummingbird’s heart is relatively the largest of all animals at 2.5% of its body weight.
12.) These little birds weigh less than a nickel, generally speaking.
13.) Their tongue is flat and split at the tip, like a forked tongue. Each of the flaps is edged with fringe, which makes the tip of their tongue look like a feather. When they’re resting, the flaps are rolled up in a tubular shape and stuck together. When a hummingbird feeds, it picks fluid up by protracting the tongue, spreading the bifurcated tip, which opens out flat, gets covered with fluid, then is brought back into the mouth.
14.) A hummingbird drinks nectar by protracting and contracting its tongue around 13 times per second!
15.) When hummingbirds migrate to the United States in the springtime, they cover 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico, flying for 20 hours without stopping.
18.) Hummingbirds lay only two eggs.
19.) After hatching, baby hummingbirds will stay in the nest for approximately three weeks.
20.) Not being very loyal, the male hummingbird is not involved in raising young at all, and will often find another mate after the young are hatched.