It is no secret that hummingbirds are the smallest bird in the world, their sizes are slightly larger than some insects, and sometimes some big bumblebee can be larger than a small hummingbird. But not only its size is remarkable for the hummingbird bird, the bright coloring of feathers and the specific temper makes them one of the most amazing and unique representatives of the animal world of our planet.
Hummingbirds: description, structure, characteristics. What does a hummingbird look like?
The size of a hummingbird does not exceed 5 cm, the weight of a hummingbird is on average 1.6-1.8 grams. But among the hummingbirds there are larger representatives, the so-called "giant hummingbirds", whose dimensions are truly gigantic compared to their little relatives, the weight of a giant hummingbird can reach up to 20 grams, with a body length of 21-22 cm.
It looks like a giant hummingbird.
Bright hummingbird plumage, which also shimmers in different colors under the sun's rays, is the subject of their small pride, and, interestingly, the hummingbird males are colored brighter than females. Some hummingbirds have a tuft or a small color on the head. The hummingbird's tail, depending on its type, may have a different shape, but, as a rule, it consists of ten feathers, also having a bright color.
The beak of a hummingbird is thin, long, the upper part of the beak wraps around the bottom. Hummingbirds also have a forked tongue. Hummingbird wings have a sharp form, each wing has 9-10 wing feathers and 6 short small feathers, which are completely hidden under the covering feathers. Hummingbird's paws are small, weak and also with long claws, as a result, they are practically unsuitable for walking, which is why hummingbirds are mostly in the air.
Of the more than 350 species of hummingbirds, only a few have the ability to sing, and the hummingbird's voice is like a weak chirping.
How many strokes per second does a hummingbird make?
In addition to its bright plumage and small size, hummingbirds have something more to surprise us - the speed with which these birds flap their wings is truly fantastic. In a short time during which a person only has time to blink, the hummingbird makes dozens of wings. So how many wings does a hummingbird per second make? Small hummingbirds make 80-100 strokes per second, large hummingbirds are not so agile and only make 8-10 strokes per second. Thanks to such a rapid flapping of the wings, these birds can literally hover in the air above some flower, extracting nectar from it with their long beaks.
Hummingbird flying in its properties is somewhat similar to the flight of butterflies, and what is interesting, hummingbirds are the only ones among birds that can fly in the opposite direction. Hummingbird's flight speed can reach 80 km per hour. True, such fast flights are not easy for them, since a large amount of energy is expended on them, for example, the bird's heart during fast flight accelerates to 1,200 beats per minute, while at rest it makes only 500 beats per minute.
Where hummingbirds live
Hummingbirds live exclusively on the American continent, and in both, South and North America, wherever there are flowers. Hummingbirds live mostly settled, preferring to settle in mountain meadows and humid equatorial forests. Some species of these birds, such as the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, are resistant to cold climates and live, for example, in Canada.
What eats hummingbirds
One of the additional nicknames that these birds have - “feathered bee”, perfectly characterizes what they eat. Like bees, hummingbirds feed on floral nectar and also, like again, bees have a useful function in pollinating flowers.
But hummingbirds are not limited to only the nectar of flowers, being omnivorous creatures; they also hunt various small insects that are caught on the fly. It should be noted that hummingbirds are incredibly voracious (as for their small sizes, of course), so the total weight of food consumed per day can even exceed its own weight by 1.5 times. It is also interesting that during the reception of nectar, the hummingbird tongue descends into the neck of a flower at a rate of 20 times per second.
Hummingbirds have their enemies, who are not averse to feasting on these bright birds - these are various larger feathered predators, snakes and bird spiders. That's just to catch a hummingbird with incredible speeds, it is also very difficult. Moreover, hummingbirds are very brave and sometimes they can bravely fight off or even attack larger birds.
But the main and most dangerous enemy of hummingbirds, like other representatives of the animal world is, of course, man. So, the cutting down of tropical forests of South America led to the fact that 2 species of hummingbirds living in these forests disappeared completely, and 46 species are now listed in the Red Book. Although part of the hummingbird has adapted to the neighborhood with a person, and even feels quite well in city parks and flower gardens.
The hummingbird's nest, where they lay their eggs is as small as its hostesses, about the size of a small cup. These hummingbirds create nests from cobwebs, down, blades of grass, pieces of bark.
Usually, a hummingbird lays 2 eggs each, which are 10 mm in diameter. The female hummingbird vidysky eggs for 14-19 days, then for several months after the birth of chicks, she feeds them until they become ready for independent living.
Interesting facts about hummingbirds
- According to the beliefs of the American Aztec Indians, hummingbirds are the reincarnation of the souls of the fallen warriors.
- The most ancient science-known hummingbirds about 30 million years old have been found in Germany, which speaks of their wider habitat in antiquity. Subsequently, hummingbirds in Europe due to various reasons have not survived.
- Hummingbirds are present on the coat of arms of such Latin American countries as Trinidad and Tobago.
The smallest bird in the world
The hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world. Seeing this wonderful creature alive, you can unwittingly take him for an insect. An interesting fact is that the smallest hummingbird-bee has absolutely tiny dimensions - a maximum of 5.7 cm and weighs only 2 grams. As a rule, they are found in Cuba.
However, one should not forget that the largest representatives of this family of birds reach sizes of 21 cm.
Appearance of hummingbirds
Hummingbird bird has an amazingly bright color. Her plumage in the sun shimmers and shines, resembling a sparkling gem. Having seen this tiny miracle for the first time, you will be shocked by how unusual color is poured in direct sunlight.
The names of some representatives of these birds fully correspond to their appearance. Here are some of them: "Emerald neck", "Fiery Topaz", "Flying Amethyst", etc.
Hummingbird family life
The nests of the smallest birds are created from any "auxiliary" material. This may be grass blades with cobwebs, and animal hairs, and even small pieces of bark.
Nest sizes range from the size of a simple cup to the size of a walnut. And really, why a big nest to the hummingbird family of birds, whose representatives are 3 cm long!
In such a miniature house, a hummingbird lays two eggs, no larger than a pea in diameter.
Despite its limited size, the hummingbird is a very brave bird. She selflessly becomes to protect her family when something threatens her. Attacking the enemy with all determination, with its small and sharp beak, it thrusts into the eyes or the nose of the enemy.
An interesting fact is that hummingbirds do not create married couples in the way that is commonly used in birds. Females take care of their offspring.
The hummingbird feeds on the nectar of flowers, and it does it extremely elegantly and gracefully. Even children know that hummingbirds are the only bird in the world that can hang in the air. Having found a flower, it flies up to him, and if it is impossible to sit on it, it hangs in the air, taking precious nectar.
But it requires a very large amount of energy. Therefore, the hummingbird makes about 80 strokes of wings per second (!) In order to stay in the air in one place.
Surprisingly, some types of flowers in their structure are such that only this miniature bird can pollinate them. This is really a mysterious nature!
However, the hummingbird eats not only the nectar of flowers. Individuals of larger size can eat insects caught in the web.
Interestingly, the features of the hummingbird flight require a lot of energy, as we have said. It is for this reason that she has to eat something every 10 minutes. Thus, she eats more food than her own weight per day.
The hummingbird flight style is the most unique among all the birds. An interesting fact is that hummingbirds are the only bird in the world that can fly backwards. Such a fantastic ability due to the fact that the flying muscles of this miracle bird make up about 30% of its total weight.
Because of this, they can perform maneuvers backwards, sideways, to land vertically and hang in the air. But in the mating season, the hummingbird, caring for a partner, develops a speed of flapping wings up to 100 times per second.
The hummingbird’s flight speed, given its miniature size, is extremely high at up to 80 kilometers per hour. By the way, we recommend reading about the fastest being on the planet. Very interesting facts.
Hummingbird's amazing abilities
It seems incredible, but the hummingbird bird has a great memory. Scientists have noticed that she never sits on the flowers, from which all the nectar was drunk. This ability is all the more surprising because the size of the hummingbird's brain is just a grain of rice.
An interesting fact is that if we compare the length of the hummingbird's body and the speed that it develops, then this figure will be greater than that of the fighter when the afterburner is on. This phenomenon has been proven with the help of powerful modern video cameras.
But opening its wings, this amazing bird demonstrates such instantaneous braking, which is inaccessible to any living organism in the world making maneuvers in the air.
Hummingbird bird photo
Tiny Hummingbird Feeder
Hummingbird Mecheklyuv has the longest beak, which is the same length as the body itself, along with the tail.
Hope you liked interesting facts about hummingbirds. Undoubtedly, all the secrets of this amazing and mysterious bird will not be revealed soon, because nature never ceases to amaze us with its masterpieces.