The upside-down bottle filled with red tinted sugar water hanging from many a backyard tree is the frequent dining spot for fast and furious hummingbirds of all shapes and colors. We never tire of their quick darting movements and the ever-present chirping that is distinctly theirs. We watch them dive bomb bugs and strangers at supersonic speeds and the iridescent throat colors of red, green and blue are out of this world.
Not only are they fun to watch, but they are also keepers of some very far out facts:
- The hummingbird brain is 4.2% if its total body weight – #1 in the world of birds
- Hummingbirds see and hear better than we humans however they have no sense of smell
- Hummingbirds can turn up the intensity of their color as well as turn it down as appropriate
- Hummingbird hearts beat 1260 times per minute, taking 250 breaths during that same period.
- Hummingbird metabolism is about 100 times that of an elephant
- And those fast and furious wings – during a dive they beat at a rate of 200 times per second driving the little rocket upward to 60 miles per hour. Look out below!
Although the tiniest bird in the world, hummingbirds are full of far out facts. And ounce for ounce, I think they are one of the most entertaining denizens of our natural world. Best of all, they come to visit you in your home if you just share a little sugar water.