Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are birds that make up the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, most species in the measurement from 7.5 to 13 cm (3-5 inches) range. In fact, the existing smaller species of birds is a hummingbird, five cm Bee Hummingbird. Which can float in the air by rapidly flapping their wings 12-90 times per second (depending on the species). They are also the only group of birds able to fly backwards. Its name derives from English characteristic hum made by their rapid wing beats. It can fly at speeds above 15 m / s (54 km / h, 34 km / h).

Hummingbirds are a joy for a birdwatcher to observe. Only found in the Western Hemisphere, from as far north as southeastern Alaska and the Canadian Maritime provinces and south to southern Chile. There are approximately 350 species of hummingbirds with 320 species found in the tropics. Within the family of hummingbirds is the world’s smallest bird, the bee hummingbird of Cuba to 2.17 inches (5. 5 cm) and weight 1.95gm (0.07 oz). Hummingbirds range in size from 2 inches to 8 inches. 

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Most hummingbirds are green, except for hermits, which are mainly brown and are known for their iridescence. These brightly colored, iridescent hummingbird feathers are caused by the refraction of incident light by the structures of the feathers of some. These structures split light into its component colors, and only certain frequencies are refracted back to the viewer. The brown color in some hummingbirds is the result however of pigmentation. Hummingbirds preen with their bills and claws, the use of oil from a gland near their tail. They also use their claws like a comb to prepare the head and neck. Sunbathers positioning of your chest to the sun and fluffing out, extending his neck and spreading its tail. Hummingbirds also take baths with water in shallow pools or cupped leaves. They flutter their wings and pull them back while lifting and spreading its tail, but dip the chin and belly in the water. Sometimes you can see sitting on a bare branch that allows rain to soak through your skin. After the bath to dry and preen their feathers. 

Hummingbirds are thought to live only 3 to 4 years. They have a fast heartbeat, with a rate of 1,260 beats per minute has been measured in blue-throated hummingbird. In hummingbirds awkward, heart rate can drop to 50-180 per minute. Its fast heartbeat and rapid wing motion required to feed regularly throughout the day. Is reported to be fed every 10 minutes and can be consumed 2 / 3 of their body weight in one day. An important part of a hummingbird’s diet is the nectar of flowers and get their accounts are perfectly adapted to the different types of flowers they feed on. Some hummingbirds have curved or elongated spikes in particular that enables them to feed special flower, for example, the white tip Sicklebill hummingbird, whose bill to the lower curve allows you to extract the nectar of heliconia. The Ruby-Topaz has a short and slightly curved beak that is adapted to feed on the flowers of Ixora bush. The emerald blue tail has a short bill that is adapted to feed the hibiscus flower. Copper-rumped Hummingbird has a straight bill and long, allowing you to feed on medium sized tube shaped flowers such as allamanda. In feeding, hummingbirds use their tongue to lick the nectar in a manner similar to cats lapping milk. His tongue can be extended to a distance equal to the length of the beak. Because hummingbirds feed accidentally collect pollen and going from one flower to another, help the flowers to reproduce. 

Hummingbirds have little or no sense of smell, so color is important for the process of searching for a hummingbird to the location of flowers containing nectar. While visiting a flower that has sufficient nectar they prefer flowers of red and orange. It is believed that there are several reasons for this preference of color. Outstanding red flowers on a green background and therefore are easier to see the hummingbird. It is also believed that because hummingbirds compete with insects for nectar they choose flowers that are less likely to be visited by insects. Most insects do not look good at the red end of the color spectrum and therefore can not visit red flowers while hummingbirds see the entire visible spectrum. 

Image via Wikipedia

The hummingbird derives its name from the buzz that is caused by the rapid flapping. In general, the flutter is so fast that the person only sees a blur as most of these birds flap their wings 50 times per second. Flutter speed depends on the size of the bird, the giant hummingbird’s largest, has a rate of 10-15 flapping times per second. The highest rate was about 80 times per second, in a small Estrellita amethyst, and the slightly smaller Bee Hummingbird – the world’s smallest bird – may have an even faster pace. A hummingbird’s wing is flexible at the shoulder, but inflexible at the wrist, allowing them to fly in many different directions. You can fly to the right, left, up, down, backwards or even upside down. To get away from the flowers they feed hummingbirds fly backwards and are the only bird able to fly backwards. While other birds get their flight to the downstroke only, hummingbirds also have the force on the upstroke. Although fly very fast, suddenly can stop and make a soft landing. They are so light they do not build much momentum. Hummingbirds have poorly developed feet, so that although they are able to perch and will do when feeding or resting, not walking. In order to advance, but along a branch, fly. Hummingbirds of elevated perches without pushing, stand entirely on its own power, flapping their wings at almost full speed before takeoff. Dream hummingbird perched on the branches with retracted neck and head forward, the bill upwards at an acute angle, and ruffled feathers. 

Hummingbirds also need protein to build muscles, what they eat insects. They prefer to feed on small spiders and insects in slow flight, such as mosquitoes, wasps and grasshoppers small, which are quite buoyant in the air and easy to catch. Also probe the bark and leaves of insects such as aphids, spiders, caterpillars and insect eggs. It is believed that up to half of their diet consists of small insects. Hummingbirds are able to live for long periods without nectar as a component of their diet. It can quickly convert fat reserves and recently ingested insects to energy when deprived of nectar. Hummingbirds compete for nectar and insects and therefore develop the territories, that are aggressive. They fight with other hummingbirds that enter their territory, but rarely serious damage inflicted during these fights. Also, when food sources are scarce in their struggle to protect her source. 

Hummingbirds build their cup-shaped nests, however hermit build long hanging nests usually attached to the leaves. Hummingbird males do not contribute to the construction of nests or young people’s attention. All power is therefore left to the woman. When the power of the female sits on the side of the nest, arches her back and stretches the neck, lift your head, and maintains its draft law to regurgitate nectar and half-digested insects to their babies. Her throat swells and pumps her beak like a sewing needle.

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