Not All Hummingbird Nest Located at High Altitudes

Most hummingbird nest are found to be located at higher altitudes. Have you ever wondered why this occurs? Is this true of all species of hummingbirds? If these are questions that you have wanted answered about hummingbirds, this post will provide you with the information you seek.

Most hummingbird nesting sites are built at higher altitudes to protect the embryos. The location which is selected must maintain a temperature that is below 96 degrees F. to help ensure that the embryos do not become fried due to over exposure to extreme high temperatures.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is one species of hummingbird that does not absolutely have to have their nesting site located at a higher altitude. There may be other hummingbird species that this is also true of as well, but the reference source I consulted only mentioned the Ruby-throated Hummingbird specifically. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird has learned how to “beat the heat.” This hummingbird will build their nest among a canopy of broadleaf trees and the temperature there averages six degrees cooler and this protects their embryos from the threat of being fried.

2 replies on “Not All Hummingbird Nest Located at High Altitudes”

Yes, hummingbirds do sleep. They do so at night by entering into a state known as torpor, which is a state similar to hibernation. Hummingbirds must enter this state to ensure that the birds won’t actually starve to death before down. Torpor is a type of deep sleep where an animal lowers its hart and metabolic rate. In a state of torpor the hummingbird lowers its metabolic rate by as much as 95%. A torpid hummingbird consumes up to 50 times less energy than when awake. The lowered metabolic rate also causes a cooled body temperature. A hummingbird’s night time body temperature is maintained at a level which is barely sufficient to maintain life. This level is known as their set point and it is far below the normal daytime body temperature of 104°F or 40°C known for other birds of similar size.

There are many reasons why the hummingbird must enter into a state of torpor. Hummingbirds are among the smallest of all warm-blooded animals, and they also lack the insulating downy feathers that are typical for many other bird species. Due to their small body size and lack of insulation, hummingbirds rapidly lose body heat to their surroundings. Even sleeping hummingbirds have huge metabolic demands that must be met in order for them to simply survive the night when they cannot forage. By entering into a state of torpor, a hummingbird is able to save enough energy to survive cold nights by lowering their internal thermostat.

There are several types of torpor. The various types of torpor are classified mostly by duration and season. If the state of torpor takes place over a long period of time during the winter, it is known as hibernation. However, unlike hibernation, hummingbird torpor can occur on any night of the year so it is referred to as daily torpor or noctivation. Tropical hummingbird species also have rigid metabolic demands and even they rely on daily torpor to conserve energy.

As for where a hummingbird sleeps, a hummingbird can sleep a number of places including on a tree branch, on phone lines, on a clothes line or even a fence. These may not be the only places that a hummingbird will sleep but they are some common places that come to mind as I write this.

Thanks for your question. I hope that this information provides you the information you were seeking. Please visit the blog often and let us know if you have any further questions or comments in the future.

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