Hummingbirds are small, colorful birds with iridescent feathers, known for its fast and agile movements. These movements are powered by rapid wing flaps, so fast that they look like a blur to the human eye.
Check out these interesting facts about the world’s smallest bird – hummingbird.
- Hummingbirds can reach up to 7.5 to 13 cm (3 to 5 in) in length.
- Hummingbirds get their name from the fact that they beat their wings rapidly (about 80 times per second) which make a humming sound.
- There are more than 340 species of hummingbirds have been found in the native region of Americas. With such a large number of species, it ranks them as the second largest bird family in the world.
- Bee Hummingbird is the smallest species and even smallest bird in the world which is about 5 cm (2 in) long with an average weight of 2 gm.
- Giant Hummingbird is the largest species which measures approximately 21.5 cm (8.5 in) long and weighing 20 gm.
- Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly right, left, up, down, backwards, and even upside down (i.e. in all directions). They are also able to hover by flapping their wings in a figure-8 motion.
- Hummingbirds have no sense of smell. But can see and hear much better than humans. They can even see ultraviolet light.
- Hummingbirds are the most intelligent of all animals including humans. Hummingbird’s brain is about 4.2% of its body weight, which is the largest portion as compared to other birds.
- Hummingbirds have excellent memory that they can remember every flower they have ever visited and can even figure out how long it will take to produce more nectar.
- At the time of flight, hummingbird’s heart rates can reach up to 1260 beats per minute. While at rest, it falls down to 250 beats per minute.
- Hummingbirds can fly at an average speed of 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph) and are able to dive at speeds of 22 m/s (79 km/h; 49 mph).
- When food is scarce or when they just need to rest, hummingbirds can put into kind of trance, which is known as torpor, in order to conserve energy. While in a state of torpor, their body temperature decreases, and its metabolism drops to around 1/15th of its normal rate. Its heart rate also drops to around 50-180 beats per minute.
- The average life span of a hummingbird is 5 years, but they are capable to live more than 10 years.
- Hummingbirds have fewer feathers (about 1000-1500) as compared to other birds. They are able to change the colour of their feathers which is the result of iridescence- showing luminous colours that seem to change when seen from different angles.
- Hummingbirds have small and weak feet, that’s why, they are used only for perching, not for hopping or walking.