The Hummingbird is part of the Trochili family and although it is one of the smallest birds in the world, it’s quite captivating. Named for the humming sound it makes with its tiny wings, the hummingbird comes in all different sizes and colors — some have feathers that even change color when they move in the light.
Hummingbirds are nectivores because more than 90 percent of their diet is made up of nectar from flowers. Although they are small, their appetite is quite large, and their metabolism has to be fast to make up for it. For example, they can digest an entire fruit fly in 10 minutes.
Their size does not determine their courage either because hummingbirds are fearless, even up against a hawk. When a hummingbird sees a hawk or other bird of prey, it will let out a high-pitched warning and actually partake in diving attacks. It has an advantage over other birds because it can outmaneuver everything, moving up, down, and side to side like a helicopter. They’re made of hand bones instead of arm bones, so they can beat their wings up to 200 times per second.
They are solitary birds that only gather during mating season. Usually the male attracts the female by showing her his vibrant feathers. But some males attract them by forming a lek, which can include up to 100 males. If a female likes one male out of the lek, he even may do a flying dance for her. Once they mate, though, the female is on her own again to build the nest and raise the baby hummingbirds.
Fun Hummingbird Facts
- If humans had the metabolism of a hummingbird, they would have to eat about 155,000 calories a day.
- Hummingbirds fly so well that they rarely even walk as far as 2 inches.
San Diego Zoo
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