Hummingbirds

Female Rufous Hummingbird Sets Record

A female Rufous Hummingbird recently set a record for the longest distance between banding and recapture of any species of hummingbird. The bird traveled 3,500 miles from Tallahassee, Florida to Alaska’s Prince William Sound. The bird was banded in Florida by Fred Dietrich and then recaptured in Alaska by Kate McLaughlin.

This information was in published in a recent issue of National Wildlife Magazine, page 18, and sent to me by my brother-in-law, Paul. I cannot give the exact date of the issue because all I was sent was the clip about this out of the magazine. I just thought that you might find the above information to be interesting like I myself did.

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Interesting Hummingbird Flight Facts

It is a common misconception that hummingbirds actually fly faster then many others species of birds. The reason for this mistaken believe is probably due to the small size of the hummingbird and the fact that this small size makes the bird hard to see while it is in flight and this gives the illusion of greater speed then occurs in actuality. The peregrine falcon is the fastest flying bird, which can reach speeds of 175 mph. Also, the Duck Hawk was measured at speeds of between 160-180 mph. By comparison, hummingbird flight is actually quite slow because their normal top flight speed is between 25-30 mph, but it can reach much higher during a courtship display.

It only takes 1/500th of a second for a hummingbird to complete a wing beat cycle.

Hummingbird flight will occur in only three of these cycles.

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A Few Surprising Hummingbird Facts

Most typical species of North American hummingbirds only weigh only approximately 1/10 of an ounce! To help you understand just how very little that weight actually is, according to hummingbird expert Laura Erickson, you could mail nine or ten hummingbirds for the cost of a single postage stamp!

There are some sixteen different species of hummingbirds which are known to breed regularly in the United States. In addition, another 6 or so different species that are found in Mexico or the Caribbean have been seen in the United States.

Hummingbirds consume between 3 and 7.5 calories per day. While that may not sound like much, but it truly is when compared with a human being, who would have to intake 155,000 calories per day to equal that of the hummingbird.

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The Hummingbird’s Amazing Metabolism

Yes, hummingbirds do indeed have a very high metabolic rate, but nevertheless hummingbirds do not eat until they are full at every opportunity. During daylight hours, the hummingbird will eat frequently for short periods of time. A hummingbird will feed 5-8 per hour with each one only lasting about 30 seconds in length. At night, the hummingbird will eat as heavily as the nectar supply will allow. The hummingbird may store a third of its weight in nectar to ensure that it will survive its overnight fast while maintaining its normal resting metabolic rate.

It is important to keep in mind that a hummingbird can starve to death in as little as two hours. This is why it must store so much of its weight in nectar to ensure it will survive the night.

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Female Hummingbird Reproductive Facts

Have you ever wanted to know anything about the reproductive system of the female hummingbird? If so then this post is just what you have been searching for and will provide you with many of the answers you seek.

Fist off, the reproductive system of the female hummingbird is called the female gonad. Because a hummingbird is so very tiny and therefore must be as light as possible for flight, these organs shrink during non-breeding months. At birth, female hummingbirds have two ovaries, but soon after birth the right ovary will disappear thus serving to lighten hummingbird’s overall body weight. The left ovary is unaffected and thus remains fully functional.

This post brings to mind thoughts of my mom. These are the type of unusual facts or information that mom would have so enjoyed discovering. I hope that the same can be said of all of those who visit this blog.

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