Its Not Always Easy Being a Hummingbird

Hummingbirds are certainly fascinating creatures, but the life of the hummingbird is not without its own unique set of challenges as well. This post will seek to explain just what some of these challenges are as compared to those of other species of birds.

One very significant difference from other types of birds is that the hummingbird is the lightest bird, weighing just 1/10th of an ounce. Just exactly how light wight is that? According to hummingbird expert Laura Erickson, you could mail nine or ten hummingbirds with a single stamp! This should help give you some idea of the tiny size of these birds.

The hummingbirds brain is small in actual size, but also quite large when compared to the hummingbirds weight. Let me explain what I mean. The brain of a hummingbird is about the size of a pea which is indeed quite small, but nevertheless the brain accounts for 4.2 percent of the hummingbirds total body weight. In spite of of the small physical size of their brain, hummingbirds are known to have excellent memories. A hummingbird will follow the same migration route year after year and can even remember the exact flowers that they have visited in the past and where these flowers are located.

It may surprise you to discover that hummingbirds are virtually incapable of walking. The feet of a hummingbird are very week which is why they will hop rather then walk short distances.

The hummingbird will fall prey to many animals. These include frogs, praying mantis and the spider, just to name a few. Yes, it is possible for a from to capture a hummingbird, but doing so will likely result in the death of both.

A praying mantis will successfully capture, kill, and eat a hummingbird. Usually, the praying mantis will position itself on a plant or a hummingbird feeder to which it observes a hummingbird coming repeatedly. Due to the lightning-fast manner in which the insect strikes it is often assured of success. It may take over a day for the bird to be consumed by the praying mantis, because of the relative size difference. While these insects are very beneficial in a garden, they should not be allowed on hummingbird feeders.

A spider can even be a predator of hummingbirds. This reason for this is due to the fact that the hummingbird uses spider webs as a source of material in the construction of their nest, because it is necessary to bind the nest to the tree branch or other substrate and to hold the nest together. Due to the extremely sticky nature of the webbing material, the hummingbird must be extremely careful while removing the pieces of webbing, for it may become entangled and be trapped there. The spider’s silk is extremely strong, as it has a strength that is comparable to steel on a weight basis.

4 replies on “Its Not Always Easy Being a Hummingbird”

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