Hummingbird Facts

Hummingbird Facts
Hummingbird is the tiniest of nearly 10 000 known bird species. There are 343 different hummingbird species that can be found in the North and South America. Destruction and loss of habitat affect the number of hummingbirds in the wild. Global warming (climate changes) affects their migratory patterns and changes the normal behavior of hummingbirds.
Interesting Hummingbird Facts:
Most hummingbirds reach 3.3 inches in length and weigh between 0.07 and 0.7 ounces.
Hummingbirds have lower number of feathers compared to other birds (less than 1000), but they are known as "the flying jewels" because they are able to change the color of their feathers when they fly. This unique characteristic is the result of the iridescence coloring of the feathers and the influence of light, moisture and other factors.
Hummingbirds are named after the humming sound which is produced by their wings during flight.
Hummingbirds are very intelligent animals. They have larger brain size (compared to the rest of the body) than other birds. Their brain weights 4.2% of the hummingbird total body weight.
Hummingbirds can remember which flower they have already visited and they know how much time each flower requires for nectar refilling.
Hummingbirds can see and hear better than humans. They can even detect ultraviolet light. They do not have the sense of smell.
Hummingbirds use eyesight to locate the flowers. They prefer red flowers with a tubular shape. Hummingbirds have long beak which help them reach the bottom of the flower and forked (W shaped) tongue which is used for licking of the nectar inside it.
Hummingbirds are well known for their ability to move their wings fast. They can move their wings 70 times in a single second. Unlike other birds, they move their wings making a full circle. This type of flying requires a lot of energy and that is the reason why hummingbirds eat a lot of food each day.
Hummingbirds use carbohydrates (sugars) as the main source of energy for flight. Nectar from flowers is the best source of sugar and hummingbirds drink it 5 to 8 times each hour. It spends 30 to 60 seconds in feeding. Hummingbird usually visits 1000 flowers per day.
Hummingbirds also eat insects, which provide them with enough proteins.
Hummingbird has incredible high heart rate. Average heart rate during the flight is 1200 beats per minute. When resting, heart rate reaches 250 beats per minute.
Each night hummingbirds enter hibernation-like state called torpor which helps them preserve the energy. Heart rate slows down, temperature drops and their metabolic rate decreases to 1/15 of the normal rate. They usually hang upside-down the tree during this phase.
Hummingbirds do not mate for life. They vocalize during the mating season. After mating, which lasts less than 4 seconds, female leaves the male and start preparing a nest for her eggs.
Female usually lays 2 eggs, which are very small (just ½ inches long). Eggs represent 10 percent of the mother's weight. Baby cannot fly and it spends first three weeks of life in the nest.
Most hummingbirds die in the first year of their life. Those that survive, have an average lifespan of 5 years in the wild and more than 10 years in captivity.

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