Fun Facts About Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds are fascinating little birds with their long beaks and fast-moving wings. They can be seen darting around nectar feeders and flowers across the U.S. How much do you know about these tiny feathered friends? These facts might surprise you and you might even learn a thing or two about your backyard visitors.
8 Facts About Hummingbirds
- They are the smallest migrating bird. They don’t migrate in flocks like other species, and they typically travel alone for up to 500 miles at a time.
- The name, hummingbird, comes from the humming noise their wings make as they beat so fast.
- Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards.
- Hummingbirds have no sense of smell. While they can’t sniff out feeders, they do have good color vision. Some birds like the Ruby-throated Hummingbird prefer orange or red flowers. Despite this, red dye should not be used in nectar as it could harm the birds. Instead, plant naturally red or orange flowers or use feeders that have red coloring in their structure.
- The average weight of a hummingbird is less than a nickel.
- Their tiny legs are only used for perching and moving sideways while perched. They can’t walk or hop.
- Hummingbirds drink the nectar found in feeders by moving their tongue in and out about 13 times per second. They can consume up to double their body weight in a day.
- The average number of eggs laid by female hummingbirds is only two. These eggs have been found in nests smaller than a half dollar and compare in size to a jellybean or a coffee bean. Some species, like the Black-chinned Hummingbird make their nests with plant down, spider silk, and other natural resources that can expand as their babies grow after hatching.