Sun. Sep 25th, 2022
16 FUN Facts About Hummingbirds! (that will make you hum)

Are you ready to learn some FUN Facts About Hummingbirds?

fun facts about hummingbirds

These tiny birds are some of the most exciting creatures in the world. And today, I’m listing some of the neatest things to know FUN Facts About Hummingbirds.

Please keep reading to learn the most exciting facts about hummingbirds, from their insatiable appetite to their tenacious migration habits.

Here are 16 FUN Facts About Hummingbirds!

#1. Hummingbirds love the colour red.

Hummingbirds are naturally attracted to red things. While it’s not entirely understood why many people believe that hummingbirds like red flowers because they typically have the most nectar!

incredible facts about hummingbirds

There are plenty of ways to add a pop of red to your garden if you want to attract hummingbirds. Flowers like the red cardinal flower and trumpet honeysuckle are two of their favourite red blossoms.

You can also buy a nectar feeder with red accents on the feeding ports or base. However, resist the temptation to add red dye to your hummingbird nectar! It isn’t necessary to attract hummingbirds, which can make them sick.

This 8 oz Jewel Box Window Hummingbird Feeder is one of my favourite red hummingbird feeders.

#2. They eat more than just nectar.

Although hummingbirds eat lots of nectar to stay active and keep their energy up, they also need additional food sources for protein and other nutrition. There are three main foods that hummers eat besides nectar:

amazing facts about hummingbirds

A. Insects

Hummingbirds eat insects for protein and other nutrients that nectar doesn’t provide. So the next time you have some fruit that’s getting old, instead of throwing it away, put it outside! The reason is that rotting fruit attracts lots of fruit flies, which is a favourite food of most hummingbird species!

B. Spiders

Many species of hummingbirds also eat tiny spiders. They will pluck these arachnids right off their webs or while hiding on a plant. If you want to provide a buffet of fresh spiders for your local birds, my recommendation is to fill your yard with native flowers, shrubs, and trees!

C. Tree Sap

Believe it or not, many hummingbird species rely greatly on sugary tree sap at certain times of the year. When hummingbirds migrate north, they arrive before many flowers have started to bloom, which creates a big problem. Hummingbirds need sugar constantly to support their high-energy lifestyle.

Hummingbirds will time their northward migration to follow sapsuckers to ensure adequate nutrition. These woodpeckers drill large holes into trees to release their sap. Once the woodpeckers drill a well into a tree, hummingbirds follow to drink the sugary juice!

The most incredible fact about hummingbirds eating sap is that they prefer maple tree sap. Of course, pancake-loving humans have this in common with hummingbirds!

#3. Hummingbirds are tiny!

Two of the most common hummingbirds in North America are the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird and Rufous Hummingbird. They measure just 2.8-3.5 inches (7-9 cm) long! Despite their small size, they migrate enormous distances each year and pollinate thousands of flowers along their route.

Hummingbirds are incredibly lightweight, even among other birds, some of the lightest animals for their size. Fully grown Ruby-Throated and Rufous Hummingbirds only weigh about three grams, the same as a single penny!

#4. Their nests are impossibly small.

These tiny birds make equally little nests. Their size varies slightly from species to species, but on average, nests are only 1-2 inches wide and an inch deep!

Although the size of their nests is fantastic, I think the most remarkable fact about hummingbird nests is how they’re made.

Like most other birds, hummingbirds start with a base of leaves, twigs, and grasses. But once the base is constructed, the rest of the nest is made from spiderweb silk!

Hummingbirds take the silk from webs and weave it into a soft, springy nest for their young. While collecting the silk, they sometimes even pluck a fruit fly from the web for a snack!

After the nest is created, hummingbirds lay eggs that are 0.5-0.6 in (1.2-1.4 cm), about the size of a tiny jellybean. Ruby-throats lay one to three eggs at a time, and as you can imagine, the eggs fill the inside of the nest!

#5. FUN Facts About Hummingbirds are aggressive and territorial.

If you have a particularly territorial hummer, you may need to hang more than one feeder!

Despite their small size (or perhaps because of it), hummingbirds are one of the most territorial backyard birds. It’s not uncommon to see fights between hummingbirds near the feeders in your backyard. Hummingbirds will even dive-bomb and zip toward larger birds to let them know who’s boss!

The most aggressive behaviour happens in spring when male hummingbirds claim new territory to breed. Males claim territory by discouraging other birds from staying too long, which means they will target intruders at feeders and resting spots.

#6. They aren’t able to walk or hop.

Although they use their legs to perch while they rest and drink nectar, hummingbirds don’t walk or hop like most birds.

They can scoot sideways but prefer to hover or fly to get around.

Even though they can’t walk, their legs are tiny for an excellent reason. Their small limbs help hummingbirds fly faster by making them more aerodynamic and reducing the amount of energy they use while flying.

#7. FUN Facts About Hummingbirds eat a ton of food!

Hummingbirds need to consume enormous amounts to maintain their energy levels.

They eat every 15-20 minutes and consume half their body weight in nectar and insects each day! However, hummingbirds can eat much more than during migration and times of heavy travel. Some estimates show hummingbirds can eat up to eight TIMES their body weight in a single day!

To help sustain their energy requirements, hummingbirds can visit up to 2,000 flowers per day, searching for nectar. All that travelling from flower to flower is one of the main reasons hummingbirds are such important pollinators.

#8. FUN Facts About Hummingbirds flocks have fun names.

One of my favourite facts about hummingbirds is the different names people call their flocks. Some of these include a “bouquet,” a “glittering,” a “hover,” or my personal favourite, a “shimmer.” I think this last name describes the beautiful iridescence of their feathers perfectly!

Although hummingbirds are solitary migrators, they will visit nectar feeders in large flocks. This hummingbird feeding station in California is a great example!

#9. Hummingbirds are FAST!

You might think that because hummingbirds are so tiny, they aren’t powerful. But the undeniable fact about hummingbirds is that they are athletic powerhouses!

The fastest species, Anna’s Hummingbird, can fly up to 50 mph (80 kph) and reach diving speeds of 61mph (98 kph). Imagine something the size of a ping pong ball hurtling past you at highway speed, all under its power. It’s fantastic to think about!

And it’s not just their speed that makes hummingbirds impressive. They flap their wings an incredible 80 times per second, completely blurring their attachments to the human eye. When they hover in the air, it can sometimes look like they don’t have wings!

#10. Hummingbird migrations are unbelievable feats.

Hummingbirds are some of the most demanding travellers around! Especially when you consider how SMALL they are.

Rufous Hummingbird Range Map

The Rufous hummingbird makes the most extended migratory trip, travelling up to 3,900 miles (6,276 km) from Mexico to Washington State! Looking at that distance from the hummingbird’s perspective, it’s about 78.4 MILLION body lengths!

This distance is even more astounding when considering that Rufous hummingbirds complete the journey in only three months. And then, they repeat it only a couple of months later! After arriving at their summer home in May, most Rufous hummingbirds begin migrating south in August.

#11. They go dormant in cold weather to survive.

Torpor is a state of near-hibernation that hummingbirds can enter during cold weather. They slow their heart rate and breathing to conserve energy and can appear to be profoundly asleep or even dead while they’re in this state.

Hummingbirds use this survival mechanism during migration when unseasonably cool nights make for harsh conditions. Their body temperature, which generally hovers around 102-104 degrees F (40 degrees C), can drop to 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). As a result, their heart rate levels become incredibly still.

The most unsettling part of inertia is that hummingbirds in this state tend to hang upside down! It can look like the hummingbird has died, which is scary for any bird lover. If you notice a hummingbird hanging upside down, wait for the weather to warm up and see if the hummingbird starts to become active again.

#12. FUN Facts About Hummingbirds can fly backwards.

Without a doubt, the most remarkable fact about hummingbirds is that they can fly backwards!

Their mighty wings allow them to hover, change direction, and stop in midair in the blink of an eye. If you have hummingbirds in your yard, you’ve probably seen them doing acrobatic tricks.

One of my favourite things to watch is a hummingbird hovering at a flower while it takes a drink of nectar!

#13. FUN Facts About Hummingbirds love moving water.

One strategy to get more hummingbirds to visit your yard is to give them a MOVING water source. Although bird baths are fantastic, most hummingbirds will ignore them unless a bubbler or mister is agitating the water.

Having a fountain is a great way to get the attention of hummingbirds. Many decorative outdoor fountains are available, which will look great in your flower garden.

Or you can purchase an inexpensive solar fountain that should fit inside an existing birdbath. The best part about a solar fountain is you won’t have any annoying cords to deal with.

Hummingbirds LOVE flying through the mist. The light spray is perfect for their tiny bodies. Not to mention, having a mister around is great for human enjoyment too! If you need a recommendation, here is an inexpensive, highly-rated misting system on Amazon.

Getting water movement can be as simple as having a dripper. And it’s easy to make your own by filling a used milk jug with water and creating a tiny hole at the bottom. Then, hang the jar over a plant so the water will slowly drip out and soak the leaves, leaving an excellent place for hummingbirds to get a drink. You can also purchase a dripper, which is made for pet reptiles!

#14. FUN Facts About Hummingbirds don’t have a sense of smell.

Although we associate them with flowers and sweet nectar, hummingbirds don’t have any sense of smell at all. Instead, they primarily use their eyesight to find their way to food and shelter.

This is why it’s so practical to use the colour red and sparkling, bubbling water to attract hummingbirds. When they see something they like, they can’t help but investigate!

#15. They have excellent eyesight!

One of the essential facts about hummingbirds is their incredible eyesight! Thinking about how they use their vision will help you decide the best way to attract hummingbirds to your yard.

If a hummingbird wants a drink of water, it will look for sparkly bubbles or a fine mist and head straight for it. A bright flower garden or fiery red feeding port will draw their attention if it’s time for a meal. Make sure to include these eye-catching elements to see the most hummingbirds!

In addition to seeing well, hummingbirds can see colours humans can’t see! It’s hard to imagine colours besides the ones we can see, but hummingbirds can perceive colours outside our spectrum. Their world is genuinely technicolour!

#16. FUN Facts About Hummingbirds ONLY live in the western hemisphere!

An incredible fact about hummingbirds is how many species there are – over 330! And every single one lives in the western hemisphere, either in North, South, or Central America.

Most of these species will never travel more than 700 miles from the equator, preferring to stay in the warmest part of the globe.

Only eight species of hummingbird are commonly seen in the United States. The rest spend all their time closer to the equator, particularly in Central and South America.

 

FAQ.

What Are Hummingbirds?

These facts might surprise you, and you might even learn a thing or two about your backyard visitors.

What are Hummingbirds?

They are the smallest migrating bird.

How do I keep my hummingbird feeder clean?

1. Clean your hummingbird feeders regularly: remove and clean your feeder with nine parts of warm water to 1 amount of bleach outdoors once a week to ensure no mould or salmonella grow in the feeder.

What do you want to attract hummingbirds?

Add native plants near your hummingbird feeder: plants like honeysuckle or other bright tubular species will hold more nectar and naturally attract hummingbirds to your yard.

What Can You Do With Hummingbirds?

They can be hard to spot as they fly quickly through flowering gardens, but they can be easy to attract.

What are the best hummingbird feeding options?

Provide hummingbirds with the best nutrition: hummingbirds love sweet formulas and will eat nectar and sugar water all season long.

Does ds eat?

They can consume up to double their body weight in a day.

What are the different species of hummingbirds?

There are over 330 species of hummingbirds in North and South America.

What species of hummingbirds are found in the U.S.?

Include: Rufous Hummingbird– these birds are found along the U.S. western half.

What are the best bird feeding options?

Instead, plant naturally red or orange flowers or use feeders that have red colouring in their structure.

Hummingbirds are fascinating little birds with their long beaks and fast-moving wings. They can be seen darting around nectar feeders and flowers across the U.S.

Conclusion

Hummingbirds are some the fascinating birds, and they’re native to North America. Although they’re pretty small birds, they can weigh up to 10% of their body weight and fly at speeds up to 50 km/h. In addition, male hummingbirds can beat their wings in a figure-eight pattern over 200 times per second. Due to such speed and power, it’s said that people have been known to mistake them for insects. Furthermore, a hummingbird’s heart makes the same amount of noise as an accelerating motorcycle, and not surprisingly, hummingbirds have the highest metabolic rate of any other animal on Earth!

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