Hummingbirds are a family of small birds. More than 330 species of hummingbirds are known. They live mainly in North and South America. However, there are species living in Alaska. The main condition for their existence is the presence of meadows, gardens and fields. Hummingbirds live 9 years.
Hummingbirds are amazingly brightly colored. Their plumage shimmers and glistens in the sun, resembling a sparkling gem. When you first see this tiny wonder, you will be amazed at how the extraordinary color shimmers in direct sunlight.
Hummingbird family life
The nests of the smallest birds are made from any “auxiliary” material. It can be blades of grass with cobwebs, animal hair and even small pieces of tree bark.
Nest sizes range from a simple cup to the size of a walnut. Indeed, why would a hummingbird family, whose members are 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, need a large nest!
In such a miniature house, the hummingbird lays two eggs, no larger than a pea in diameter.
Despite their limited size, the hummingbird is a very bold bird. She selflessly stands up for her family when something threatens her. Attacking the enemy with all determination, she plunges her small and sharp beak into the eyes or nose of the enemy.
An interesting fact is that hummingbirds do not create married couples in the way that birds usually do. The females take care of the offspring on their own.
Hummingbirds feed on the nectar of flowers, and they do it extremely elegantly and gracefully. Even children know that hummingbirds are the only birds in the world that can hover in the air. Having found a flower, hummingbirds fly up to it, and if it is impossible to sit on it, they hang in the air, taking out precious nectar.
But it takes a lot of energy. Therefore, the hummingbird makes about 80 flaps of its wings per second (!) To stay in the air in one place.
Surprisingly, some types of flowers are such in their structure that only this miniature bird can pollinate them. It really is a mysterious nature!
However, hummingbirds feed not only on the nectar of flowers. Individuals of larger sizes can eat insects caught in the web.
Interestingly, the features of the flight of hummingbirds require a lot of energy. It is for this reason that they have to eat something every 10 minutes. Thus, in a day, one hummingbird eats food more than its own weight.
The flight style of a hummingbird is the most unique of all birds. An interesting fact is that hummingbirds are the only birds in the world that can fly backwards. Such a fantastic ability is due to the fact that the flight muscles of these birds make up about 30% of their total weight.
Thanks to this, they can maneuver backwards, sideways, land vertically and hover in the air. But during the mating season, hummingbirds, caring for a partner, develop a speed of flapping their wings up to 100 times per second.
The flight speed of the hummingbird, given its diminutive size, is extremely high, up to 50 mph (80 kilometers per hour).
The heart of a hummingbird occupies about half of the body and is almost three times the size of the stomach. This is not surprising, because such an intense flight requires an incredibly powerful heart muscle. The frequency of contractions is on average 500 beats per minute, but in flight it reaches 1000-1200 beats.
The amazing abilities of the hummingbird
It seems incredible, but the hummingbird has an excellent memory. Scientists have noticed that she never sits on flowers from which all the nectar was drunk. This ability is all the more surprising because the brain size of a hummingbird is only a grain of rice.
An interesting fact is that if we compare the length of the body of a hummingbird and the speed that it develops, then this figure will be greater than that of a fighter with the afterburner turned on. This phenomenon has been proven with powerful modern video cameras. But opening its wings, this amazing bird demonstrates such instant deceleration, which is not available to any living organism in the world that makes maneuvers in the air.