Anyone who has had the honor of seeing a hummingbird will know how small they are, so here are some little facts about hummingbirds for your Tuesday!
1. While they can’t smell, hummingbirds have great eyesight. They can see light in the ultraviolet spectrum and have a range of sight longer than a human’s. They also have better hearing than humans do.
2. Hummingbird eggs are the smallest of any bird eggs in the world. They measure less than a half-inch in diameter.
3. Hummingbirds need to consume about half of their weight in sugar daily to stay healthy.
4. Twice a year, hummingbirds molt. This means that you could, theoretically, find a hummingbird feather on the ground, but they’re so small that it’s nearly impossible.
5. Hummingbirds are the second most diverse family of birds in the world (with the first being songbirds). There are 340 different species of hummingbird.
6. There are only eight species of hummingbirds regularly seen in the United States.
7. A hummingbird’s heart beats 1,200 times per minute.
8. Hummingbirds beat their wings at a pace of 70 to 80 beats per second.
9. Hummingbirds don’t make song vocalizations, though they do make chattering sounds or short calls.
10. In terms of proportions, hummingbirds have the largest brains of any bird (over 4% of their body weight).
11. After migrating during the winter, hummingbirds usually always return to the same feeder in their home in the North to feed.
12. During cold weather, hummingbirds go into a state of hibernation, which is called Hummingbird Sleep.
13. Each hummingbird has only 1,000-1,500 feathers on their bodies, giving them the least number of feathers of any other bird.
14. The feet of hummingbirds have evolved to be smaller (for weighing less while flying) and they are physically incapable of walking, though they have no trouble with perching.
15. A hummingbird can digest a meal in as short a time as 20 minutes. Their digestive system is able to convert almost 100% of the sugar they consume into energy. They actually don’t use most of the water they consume along with their sugar.
16. When at rest, hummingbirds take roughly 140 breaths per minute. That means they inhale and exhale at least twice per second!
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