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15 Interesting Facts About Hummingbirds

Spring is in full bloom and pollinators are busy doing what they do best. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to observe a few tiny, super hyper hummingbirds out enjoying life. Have you ever wondered what’s up with these little guys? We have some interesting facts to review to learn more about them!

  • Hummingbirds cannot walk or hop. They only use their feet to scoot sideways when perched, as well as for scratching and preening themselves.
  • The smallest hummingbird species in the world is called the Bee Hummingbird. It measures approximately 2 1/4 inches long and is only found in Cuba.
  • Hummingbirds lay the smallest eggs of all birds. Their eggs measure approximately the same size as a jellybean.
  • There are over 325 unique hummingbird species in the world. In the United States, there are mainly eight species. Most hummingbird species are found in Central and South America along with the Caribbean.
  • Hummingbirds have up to 1,500 feathers. They don’t need as many feathers due to their small size, but they also need fewer to remain lightweight.
  • Around 30% of a hummingbird’s weight is in its pectoral, or chest, muscles. These are responsible for flight.
  • A hummingbird’s wings beat between 50 and 200 flaps per second.
  • A hummingbird’s maximum forward flight speed is a very impressive 30 miles per hour!
  • The average hummingbird feeds 5 to 8 times per hour. In addition to nectar, hummingbirds also eat small insects and spiders, as well as tree sap and/or fruit juice.
  • Hummingbirds lick nectar with fringed, forked tongues.
  • An average hummingbird’s heart rate is over 1,200 beats per minute.
  • The average lifespan of a wild hummingbird is between 3 and 12 years of age.
  • Surprisingly, hummingbirds are one of the most aggressive bird species and will attack blue jays, crows, and hawks that infringe on their territory.
  • Hummingbirds are not found outside of the Western Hemisphere except in captivity. There are no hummingbirds found in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia or Antarctica.
  • Red-dyed, commercially produced nectar is unnecessary and can be harmful to hummingbirds. A simple solution of sugar and water is best for the birds’ nutritional needs.

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