Moving on...one of my favorite species in the entire Animal Kingdom is one of Nature's smallest and most amazing creatures, the hummingbird. These tiny birds captured my heart when I was a young child. I remember being at the babysitter's house one day after school in first grade and watching the hummingbirds zip in and out around the feeder in a contolled chaos that simply mesmorized me. I sat there for hours on end observing something so fascinating, that nearly fifty years later, I can replay that scene in my mind like I saw it ten minutes ago. A few years ago, when I lived in Colorado, I had several hummingbird feeders set up on a balcony just outside my bedroom. I was such a fixture on that balcony that I was like part of the hummingbird family all summer long. I'd hold the feeder and the hummers would zip around, in and out, making that little whistling sound they make while in flight, and drink up the nectar that they craved. There were probably 30-40 distinct individual birds that were regulars at my balcony. I even had them all named, for cryin' out loud! When it comes to hummingbirds, did you know :
the hummingbird is the smallest bird and also the smallest of all animals that have a backbone. a hummingbird has no sense of smell because a hummingbird can rotate its wings in a circle, they are the only bird that can fly forwards, backwards, up, down ,sideways and hover in mid air. to conserve energy while they sleep or when food is scarce, they can go into a hibernation-like state (torpor) where their metabolic rate is slowed to !/15th of its normal rate. during migration, some hummingbirds make a non-stop 500 mile flight over the Gulf of Mexico. during courtship dives a hummingbird can reach speeds up to 60 miles per hour and can average speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour. hummingbirds are the second largest family of birds with 343 species. hummingbirds can beat their wings up to 80 times a second during normal flight and up to 200 times per second during a courtship dive. a hummingbird has a heart rate that can reach up to 1,260 beats per minute. percentage wise, the hummingbird has the largest brain of all birds (4.2% of its total body weight). hummingbirds have very weak feet and use them mainly just for perching.
Hat tip : PW Miller on Facebook.