Hummingbirds: Iridescent feathers create vibrant throat color. No walking, only scooting. Light, agile, with small feet. 900 feathers for lightweight flight. Powerful pectoral muscles. Heart rate over 1,200 bpm. Keen eyesight, no sense of smell. Tiny eggs, smaller than a jelly bean!
Hummingbirds: High sugar intake, 5-8 feeds/hour. Insects, sap, and fruits supplement nectar. Capillary tongue draws nectar. Rapid 10-15 licks/second. Efficient digestion converts sugar to energy.
Hummingbirds: 300+ species, 17 breed in US. Tropical, non-migratory. Smallest: Calliope (3"), Bee (2 1/4"). Ruby-throated: 3g, long migration. Sword-billed: 4" bill. Lifespan: 3-5 yrs. Speed: 30mph forward, 60mph dive. Wings: 50-200 flaps/sec.
Hummingbirds: Aggressive defenders. No "riding" during migration. Lick nectar with forked tongues. Red feeders attract, not dye. Like various flower colors.
Aggressive hummingbirds defend territory, chase intruders. No "riding" during migration. Lick nectar with forked tongues. Red feeder attracts, not dye. Enjoy various flower colors
Hummingbirds: Return to same places. Benefit as pollinators. Gentle but not social. Predators include cats, birds, spiders, frogs, and snakes.
Hummingbirds: Remarkable spatial memory. Recall feeders, flowers visited. Large hippocampus for learning and memory
Hummingbirds: High energy needs, continuous feeding. Ruby-throated: 1,000 flowers, half weight in nectar/day. Vital pollinators of thousands of plants, including post-disaster recovery.
Hummingbird heart rates: Blue-throated: 1,260 bpm, Costa's: 500-900 bpm. Humans: 60-100 bpm. Torpor reduces rate to 50 bpm, conserving energy in cold.
Hummingbirds: Can perch, scoot sideways. Apodiformes order (footless) with swifts. Small feet reduce drag, enhance aerodynamics for flight.