Fun Facts About the Hummingbird
Many bird lovers and nature lovers alike are interested in finding facts about the hummingbird. The hummingbird is an especially small and beautiful creature, with an interesting history and many great tidbits of information. Learn more about the hummingbird and get to know this amazing animal.
- Hummingbirds are the tiniest species of bird.
- Early Spanish explorers called these tiny treasures by the name of Joyas Volardores. Translated into English, this phrase means Flying Jewels
- Hummingbirds are found only in North and South America.
- Hummingbirds are part of the Trochilidae family.
- There are 343 species of hummingbird.
- Hummingbird species compose the second largest family of all the different types of birds that exist.
- Hummingbirds literally have a neon glow appearance in the sunlight due to their iridescence and pigment. While in the sun, different colors will bounce off or be absorbed by the hummingbird, which gives them the appearance that seems to make them glow.
- Almost 30% of a hummingbird’s body weight is attributed to its flight muscles.
- Hummingbirds must maintain a great deal of energy.
- Hummingbirds flap their wings the quickest of any other bird species.
- Hummingbirds have a heartbeat that pumps approximately 1,260 bpm.
- The general speed of flight for a hummingbird has been calculated to be about 25 to 30 mph.
- The brain of the hummingbird makes up approximately 4.2% of its total body weight, but in proportion to its body, the hummingbird has the largest brain of all bird species.
- Ruby-throat hummingbirds migrate from Canada to Panama every year; this 2,000-mile migration includes a flight over the Gulf of Mexico. The flight over the Gulf is approximately 500 miles of the total trip and is non-stop.
- Hummingbirds are both territorial and aggressive when it comes to protecting their sources of nectar.
- Hummingbirds typically live up to ten years in the wild.
- Male and female hummingbirds do not mate for life.
- Female hummingbirds do all of the work raising the young; a pair of hummingbirds will only produce once per season.
- Hummingbirds lack the ability to smell.
- Hummingbirds are great aids at helping the pollination process.
- Flowers with long trumpet-like shapes are the flowers that attract the hummingbird the most. If flowers are an interest of yours, you can also check out these fun facts about flowers for more information.
- The feet of a hummingbird are very weak and they rely on their wings to move them around, even for small movements within the nest.
- Hummingbirds are able to rotate their wings in a complete circle.
- Hummingbirds are the only bird that is able to fly up, down, forwards, backwards, or sideways. They also have the ability to hover in one spot.
- Hummingbirds also have the ability to fly upside down, which is useful to escape from prey.
- In order to hover, a hummingbird will beat their wings in a consistent figure eight motion.
- At night, hummingbirds enter a state known as torpor where they can conserve energy until they are able to find viable food to replenish their energy the next day.
- Hummingbirds are quiet compared to other birds. They may make a few twitters here and there, but for the most part, they are known more for the sound of there wings then for the sound of their voices.
- Hummingbirds have a long tube-like tongue, in order to reach the nectar on the inside of the flowers they prefer. The tongue’s shape and brush-like appearance on the tip is also good for catching insects on the same flowers the hummingbird feeds on.
- The hummingbird’s tongue gathers the nectar inside of a flower by soaking up the nectar like a sponge.
- Because hummingbirds require so much energy on a daily basis, they can actually visit approximately 1,000 flowers daily in their quests to find enough nectar to sustain them.
- In addition to nectar, hummingbirds also eat insects such as gnats and spiders.
- When creating the perfect habitat to attract hummingbirds, make sure your feeders are spread out in different areas where visiting hummingbirds will not be able to see one another.
- Hummingbirds can move erratically in any direction on a whim without thinking about it.
Did You Know?
A diving hummingbird can reach speeds of up to 60 mph.
Now that you have read these 35 fun facts about the hummingbird, you are practically a bird expert. Whether you want to invite hummingbirds to live in your home, or simply want to know more about watching them in the wild, you're knowledge has now taken flight and you're on your way to a special enjoyment of these tiny creatures.