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Facts about Hummingbirds. The living Helicopter

Posted By: junmar

 

Hummingbirds Facts

The ancients had various names for this “very curiously” small bird. But it wasn’t  till 1882 that the name Hummingbird stuck. The name comes from the humming sound that you (if you listen very closely) hear from the droning of the hummingbird’s wings in flight. Hummingbirds may have as many as 339 species.  Ranging from the smallest bird in the world at 2 1/4 inch long (Cuban Bee Hummingbird) which compares to the size of a large bee to the Giant Hummingbird at 8 1/2 inches long. (About the size of a purple martin).

 

 

Almost every facts about hummingbirds

is in fact unusual, different. From their brilliant, dazzling iridescent colors to the way they can hover over a flower to feed. Their curved or straight pointed bills perfectly built for probing flowers for nectar. Tongues rounded and brush-tipped that are quite long to get the sweet nectar from the flowers. A tiny crop where they can store food for overnight sustenance and the toughness to endure temporary cool weather or cold nights.The swiftness  in-flight of these hummingbirds have amazed and intrigued people through the ages. Their aerial feats of stopping in mid-air and instantly start again and elusiveness on the wing, these birds can not only hover, fly backwards and shift side to side but they can go up and down effortlessly. “Hummingbirds are living helicopters”. Because of their speed and small size, they are hard to catch by predatory birds. It is rare to see one caught.

 

 

The fact that Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism

of any warm-blooded vertebrate animal in the world. hummingbirds have the fastest rate of processing their food. These small birds are constantly eating. They must refuel (feed) continuously all day to stay alive. They will fight and guard their feeding territories. They live to a surprising age. There are reports of them living longer than 14 years.

Hummingbirds are under the protection of the law. It states that hummingbirds may not be kept in captivity without a permit. But if one is found sick or injured, it can be nursed back to health until it is well enough to be released.

The ancients like the Incas and the Aztecs of South America revered the these small birds for their toughness and for their fearless nature. They are truly one of the wonders of the world.

I will be writing more of our amazing hummingbirds.  I will do articles on the various species of hummingbirds. So stay tune


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