About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fun Facts About Hummingbirds

  • There are 18 hummingbird species in North America. Hummingbirds are found no where else in the world except the New World (North, Central, and South America.)
  • There are over 325 species of Hummingbirds, making them the second largest bird family in the world, second only to flycatchers.
  • Hummingbirds weigh 1/10th of an ounce; about the weight of a penny.
  • Hummingbirds have such underdeveloped legs that they are unable to walk but can perch.
  • Hummingbirds lay the world’s smallest bird egg about the size of a blueberry.
  • Hummingbirds use spider webs as glue to attach the nest to a tree branch as well as a binding agent for the building materials.
  • The nest is about the size of a golf ball; around 1 ½ inches in diameter.
  • Only about 20% of Ruby-throated Hummingbird fledglings survive their first year.
  • Hummingbirds eat about every 10 minutes.
  • They do not have an innate preference for red. Each hummingbird must learn the association between red flowers and food.
  • Hummingbirds can extend their tongue approximately a distance equal to the length of their bill.
  • While lapping up nectar, Hummingbirds can move their tongues in and out of their bill at a rate of up to 12 times a second.
  • hummers eat insects and insect eggs, spiders and spider eggs. They use their bill and not their tongue to catch insects.
  • Hummingbirds can fly up to 60 miles per hour, but typically fly at 30-45 miles per hour.
  • They can hover and are the only birds able to fly backwards and upside down. They can do this because of an extremely mobile shoulder joint. Their wings beat 20-80 times per second.
  • During the night, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can enter into a state of torpor to save energy. Similar to a type of short-term hibernation, torpor reduces their metabolic activity and drops their heart rate from 1,200 beats per minute to 50 beats per minute.
  • The iridescence in the hummingbird’s feathers has led them to be called the “jewels of the garden.” 
Related Articles:

    No comments: