Saturday, September 4, 2010

Calling all Hummingbirds

I have a new hobby. Its a developing hobby I guess. Hummingbird watching. I've been on the prowl for a cool hummingbird feeder for our front yard. We've got 2 plants that attract them in the early evening and I always love watching them. So this week we cooked up humming juice-as Ellie calls it- and set the bait. I watched off and on all day today and finally this evening saw the first one take a sip. He was too quick for my camera, but I'll get him on film sooner or later. Did you know:
  • The average hummingbird's wings beat about 53 times per second, seen by the human eye as a blur.
  • The wings move in a figure eight pattern to produce the gravity-defying hover effect for which hummers are famous.
  • The energy needs of this little bird are amazing - they must feed every 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day, consuming up to two thirds of their body weight in food.
So if I was a hummingbird, it would be like me eating around 60 pounds of food spread out over 70 snacks every day. So I guess the phrase "You eat like a bird" is not really meant for hummingbirds.


  1. They are also the only bird that can fly backwards.

  2. Oh my 'buzzyandzippy' is what we named the hummingbirds that used to frequent our feeder.

  3. Hummingbirds are such tiny fascinating creatures. You will be amazed to discover all the fascinating information there is about these birds. You will be constantly making new discoveries as you develop this hobby.

    Here is a few more facts about hummingbirds that you might enjoy knowing.

    Of all bird species, hummingbirds have the largest known relative heart size. The heart represents 2.4 percent of their body weight.

    Hummingbirds lay the smallest eggs of any species of bird. Their egg is less than half an inch long; this is half the size of a jellybean!

    While at rest, a hummingbird takes 250 breaths per minute.

    The heart rate of a hummingbird is 1,260 times per minute.

    Hummingbirds travel at an average speed of 25-30 miles per hour.

    Hummingbirds can fly forward, backward, and upside down. They fly backwards by spreading their tail and then doing a backwards somersault.

    The pectoral or flight muscles of a hummingbird accounts for ¼ of its total body weight. In humans, the pectoral muscles account for 5 percent of our total body weight.

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