The hummingbird has fascinated people, of various ages and knowledge levels about birds, for quite sometime. So, what is it about this amazing bird that seems to captivate and hold our attention? While there are probably several correct answers to this question, I would say, in my own opinion, that people are so captivated by the hummingbird because the hummingbird is very unique and different from other birds in a number of positive ways. This post will discuss these ways.
First of all, compared to other birds, hummingbirds have the fastest metabolism. As a result of this, the hummingbird is able to digest nectar very rapidly and efficiently. It takes less then 20 minutes for the nectar to l pass entirely through the hummingbird’s digestive system!
Do not let the hummingbird’s extremely high metabolic rate fool you. This does not mean that hummingbirds until they are full at every opportunity. During daylight hours, the hummingbird will eat frequently for short periods of time. 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.
The flight ability of the hummingbird is also unique in a number of ways. Hummingbirds are known for their ability to hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings 15–80 times per second (depending on the species). Capable of sustained hovering, hummingbirds also have the ability to fly backward, being the only group of birds able to do so.Hummingbirds may also fly vertically and laterally.
The hummingbird has the largest heart in proportion to body size. The heart represents 2.4 percent of their body weight. While this may not seem like much, it is actually a huge amount when compared to the hummingbird’s small size.
The hummingbird is also unique because it has the fastest heart and wing beats. The heart rate of a hummingbird is an astounding 1,260 beats per minute! On average, hummingbird’s wings beat about 52 times per second. That too is amazingly fast!
The hummingbird is also unique due to its brilliantly iridescent feathers. It may surprise you to discover that it is only male hummingbirds which have the brilliant iridescent throat feathers. This feature may serve as a way to help you distinguish the males from the females. The iridescent throat feathers serve two extremely important functions: attracting a female and defending their territory. They use these to display to one another. Females find it attractive, and other males are repelled. Male hummingbirds are extremely feisty and territorial and these feathers are part of their territorial display.
The hummingbird is unique, in a number of positive ways, when compared to other bird species. This may not be every way in which a hummingbird is unique, but the are the ones that stand out in my own mind.