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Hummingbird Facts | Hummingbird Facts

Posted By: junmar

I saw my first Name Your Link""“>hummingbird which comes from Central to Eastern United States. The Rufous Hummingbird travels the greatest distance-up to 3,000 miles and comes from as far away as Western Alaska. The Black-chinned Hummer comes from the Western United States. The Buff-bellied Hummingbird is primarily from Southern Texas.

Small bodies, big brains

Hummingbird bodies are the smallest of the warm-blooded animals, but their brains are proportionally the largest. Their feet are next to useless, except for perching. Their heart beats 1,260 times per minute.

They cruise at 25 miles an hour and dive at more than 75 miles an hour. While hovering, a hummingbird’s wings beat 80 times a second. In normal flight their wings beat 20-25 beats per second.

In courtship flights, some species may beat their wings 200 time per second. Their wings move in a figure 8 motion. They can hover at a stand still and even fly upside down.

The hummingbird’s egg is about the size of a jellybean. Babies are so small that two of them can easily sit together on an adult’s index finger. They are about the size of a bumblebee at birth.

The color is a result of refraction, not reflection. The tiny bubbles on the feather of a bird are similar to a soap bubble. The light that refracts through both kinds of bubbles is responsible for the color. Light must be directly on the bubbles on the feather in order to produce color.

Eating like a bird

They on average consumes 1/2 its weight in sugar each day and feeds 5-8 times each hour, but for only 30-60 seconds at a time. To maintain the metabolic rate of a hummingbird, a person weighing 160 lbs. would need to consume more than 300 lbs. of food per day.

Hummers do not live on sweet stuff alone. They need protein, minerals, vitamins and fats, gained from insects in addition to the nectar they love. They eat small spiders, gnats and other insects.

Before starting their 500 plus mile migratory non-stop flight across the Gulf of Mexico, the hummer must increase its body weight 50%. They do not migrate in a group. Each bird travels alone.

Neat stuff, huh?

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