Average lifespan in the wild: 5 to 9 years
Size: 3 to 4 in (7 to 9 cm)
Weight: 0.07 to 0.21 oz (2 to 6 g)
Did you know? The hum of a hummingbird is made by the bird’s rapid wing beats, up to 53 beats per second for a ruby-throated hummingbird.
The largest hummingbird, aptly named the giant hummingbird, is still tiny, weighing in at no more than .8 ounces (approximately 23 grams). The smallest species — and smallest bird in the world — is the bee hummingbird, which weighs no more than 0.06 ounces (approximately 1.6 grams). It's the size of, well, a bee.
What does a Hummingbird look like?
Hummingbirds are the world’s smallest birds. These tiny birds have shiny green backs & white bellies. Boys have bright ruby-red throats and forked tails. The girl’s throats are white, and their tails are straight . Hummingbirds may be small, but they pack a lot energy in those tiny bodies. They come in a variety of dazzling colors, and due to the structure of their wings, they are the only birds with the ability to fly backward and upside down. They beat their wings rapidly; smaller species can flap their wings up to 80 times a second.
Where do Hummingbirds live?
A hummingbird's only natural place where they live is in the America's. Their range is as far north as Alaska and as far south as Chile. Most hummingbirds live in the South America. There are over 300 types or species of hummingbirds making hummingbirds the second largest species of bird in the Western Hemisphere. Ecuador has the largest number of types or species of hummingbirds. There are more than 50 types or species of hummingbirds that breed in Mexico, more than 15 types or species of hummingbirds that breed in the United States, and more than 3 types or species of hummingbirds that breed in Canada.
Many hummingbirds love the habitat of wooded and forested areas that have lots of flowers and well as in meadows and grasslands. There are also plenty of hummingbirds living quite well in large cities, cool areas, warm areas, places that get snow, and desert environments. Hummingbirds are usually looking for nectar to drink, bugs to eat, and a significant other to fly with.
What does a Hummingbird eat?
Hummingbirds (hummers) usually drink nectar (sugar water) from flowers. While the hummer is drinking the flower’s nectar, some pollen sticks to the hummer’s chin. The pollen falls off at the next flower it visits and the flower is pollinated, ready to make seeds! Flowers give food to hummers, and hummers help the flowers to make seeds. This natural cooperation is called symbiosis. Hummingbird flowers are usually long, red, and skinny, to match the hummer’s long beak and tongue. But hummers need more than just sugar to survive. They also need protein. That’s why they eat small bugs inside flowers, and sometimes pick bugs out of spider webs for food. In early spring, before the flowers bloom, hummers will follow Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. These woodpeckers peck holes in trees to get sap. The hummer can lick the sap and eat the bugs around these holes!
How does the hummingbird fly?
Instead of flapping their wings like most birds, hummingbirds move their wings back and forth like a swimmer. This helps them hover, or hang in the same place in the air. They can fly forwards, sideways, and even backwards! They’ve been clocked at speeds faster than 45 mph!
Did you know this about the humming bird?
A hummingbird rotates its wings circularly, allowing it to move sideways, upward, downward, backward or hover in midair — the only bird able to do so.
They can assess the amount of sugar in a flower's nectar and will reject those that aren't at least 12% sugar. The prefer nectar with a sugar content of at least 25%.
Download free Hummingbird wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
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Hummingbird Coloring pages
Print free Hummingbird coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.