Facts About Hummingbirds

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Birds never cease to fascinate us and everyone knows, how it is been dreams for humans to fly like them. They are the new world birds and constituent of family Trochilidae and are called so because of the humming sound they create while beating their wings. There are so many astonishing things to know about these tiny wonders.

Few of the very interesting facts and listed below-

1.Humming birds have evolved to smaller feet to be lighter for more efficient flying. And because of this, they cannot hop or walk but scoot sideways. Humans have always been in awe of their stunning feathers. The colour radiates like hot coals in the sun and is produced by pigments. Some of the colour is absorbed and some ejected. The colour which reaches our eyes depends on the angle from it is seen. Much like soap bubble. This allows hummingbirds to flash colour or hide them and also, male uses this technique to impress females or threaten other males.

2.Hummingbirds are only birds which are capable of flying backwards, sideways, up, down or just sit in space and that is possible ‘cause of it’s ability to rotate each of it’s wing in circle.To trick the birds upon being attacked, they can fly small distances upside down.

3.Don’t jugde someone’s strength from their size! Atleast not with Hummingbird’s. Despite of their small size, they are one of the most aggressive birds. They are known to chase away big birds like jays, crows and hawks if they enter in their territory.

4.Some are so small, they have been known to be caught by dragonflies and praying mantis, trapped in spider’s webs, snatched by frogs and stuck on thistles.

5.The female hummingbird builds a tiny nest high up in a tree, often up to six metres from the ground.  She coats the outside with lichen and small pieces of bark and lines the inside with plant material.Male Hummingbirds take no responsibility in rearing the young and may find another mate after first brood hatches.

6.It’s high breathing rate, high heart beat and high temperature requires Humming birds to eat enormous amount of food often. They have long tongue which they use to lick their food at the rate of upto 13 licks per second! Also, they have the highest metabolism of any homeothermic animal.

7.Historically, humming birds were killed for feathers. Today, they are vulnerable due to habitat loss and destruction. Habitat of each of the species of humming birds is present in IUCN red list. Changing climatic patterns are also adding to the nuisance as it leads to change in migrating patterns. They are now found in places they never were and it may become difficult for them to find food there.

8.Ruby throated hummingbirds beat upto 200 times a second during courtship time where as it beats upto 90 times per second normally. Despite of being such tiny sized, they migrate over a remarkable distance of 3000 km from the Eastern USA, crossing over 1000 km of Gulf of Mexico, that too in a single journey!

9.Each species of humming bird creates a different, peculiar sound which depends on the number of beats per second which is clearly heard and identified to human ears. Though well, some may find it irritating. They do not possess the sense of smell but have exceptionally well eye sight. They can

10.They lay smallest eggs of all the birds- less than ½ inch long but may represent as much as 10% of the mother’s weighat the times of laying of eggs. A baby hummingbird is smaller than a penny!

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