(Trochili) – a suborder of birds of the order of long-winged. One family with 319 species. They live in America (from South Alaska and Labrador to Tierra del Fuego); especially diverse in the tropics. Body length from 5.7 to 21.6 cm, weigh from 1.6 to 20 g. Plumage of males is usually very bright; females are painted more dimly.
Flight fast (up to 80 km / h), maneuverable, resembles the flight of butterflies-brazhnikov. Small species of hummingbirds fly in their wings as they make up to 80 strokes per second (large – only 8-10). Hummingbirds feed on flowers, sucking nectar on the fly, and also collect insects and spiders on plants or catch in the air. A huge energy consumption for flight and heat transfer is covered by high-calorie food (for example, nectar). Hummingbirds can not maintain an intensive metabolism round the clock, so at night, in cold and with a lack of food, they become numb; while the body temperature drops from 39-43 ° C to 14.5-21 ° C, and the exchange is sharply reduced.
Live wherever there are flowers: in deserts, gardens, forests, mountain meadows – from sea level to 4,500 m (in the Andes). Are overpopulated; fly for the winter from the extreme northern and southern parts of the range, during the drought period – from the deserts. Polygamy; builds a nest, incubates eggs and feeds the chicks female. Nests on trees, bushes, some species stick nests saliva to rocks or leaves, as well as swifts. In laying 2 eggs are white, incubation is 14-19 days. Hummingbirds are useful as plant pollinators. Numbers of many species of hummingbirds sharply decreased, because their masses were exterminated using skins as decoration. Hummingbird is the smallest bird on earth.
The largest hummingbird is a giant (Patagona gigas), living in the South American Andes – and it reaches a size of only 22 centimeters and a weight of 20 grams. The smallest – the dwarf bee (Mellisuga minima), inhabiting Cuba and the island of Pinos, with a body length of 5.7 centimeters, weighs 1.6 grams. Interestingly, half of the length of the hummingbird’s body is occupied by the beak and tail.
The hummingbird is very small.
Her nest in size is like half a shell of a walnut, and the testicle, carried in it, is more like a pea.
Hummingbird is one of the most beautiful living creatures.
Their amazingly beautiful coloring with metallic tint is able to vary depending on the angle of illumination and viewing. It is no coincidence that the hummingbird is compared to precious stones, calling the “ruby-rimed hummingbird” (Archilochus colubris), “mountain star” (Oreotrochilus leucopleurus), “flying amethyst”, “fire topaz,” “solar god”, “emerald neck” or “topaz hummingbird” “. Male hummingbirds have a brighter coloration than females.
Hummingbirds feed on nectar.
The process of food absorption in these birds occurs right on the fly. By making wings up to 80-150 strokes per second, a hummingbird hovers over a flower cup, launches its sharp beak into it and sucks out the tasty and nutritious plant food stuffed in a tubule with a tongue. At the same time, it is incorrect to think that hummingbirds live exclusively in floral food – the main food of hummingbirds (for many species and exceptional) are small insects, which birds collect from flowers and the leaves nearest to them. In some cases, the hummingbird does not mind eating and capturing spiders, as well as flying by insects.
Hummingbirds often eat.
They are forced to this lifestyle, which consumes a lot of heat and energy. To replenish the nutritional reserves of your body, the hummingbird is forced to eat every ten minutes, thus eating for a day, eating almost twice the weight of your own body.
Hummingbirds live only in America.
Habitat habitat hummingbirds captures not only the tropical and subtropical areas of America, but also includes the rest of the territory of this continent – down to Alaska. The main condition for the life of hummingbirds are – flowers, and, consequently, forests, mountain meadows and gardens.It is noteworthy that some tropical species of hummingbirds prefer to keep high in the mountains, outside the belt of woody vegetation (for example, the chimborazh hummingbird (Oreotrochilus chimborazo), a number of species – simply takes a fancy to a particular peak within which it lives.
Hummingbirds may fall in a lethargic sleep
This is due to the fact that the temperature of the hummingbird’s body can vary depending on the ambient temperature: in daytime it is 39-40 degrees Celsius, at night it drops to 18, while the bird’s breath slows down, and itself she is in gives in some semblance of lethargic sleep.
The hummingbird has the longest beak among the birds
More precisely, in one of its species, the Ensifera ensifera, whose beak is much larger than the length of the whole bird body. In addition, the hummingbird has a number of features that distinguish it from the beaks of other birds: the absence of bristles at the base of the beak, a long and strongly bifurcated tongue that a hummingbird can put out of its mouth at a distance inaccessible to other birds.
The hummingbird has a big and strong heart.
The heart of the hummingbird occupies almost half of the body cavity of the bird and is almost three times the size of the stomach by volume. Unlike other birds, the hummingbirds have much more red blood balls, and the frequency of heart contractions in some species reaches 1000-1200 beats per minute.
Hummingbird is a stable bird.
This statement can be applied to most species of hummingbirds, however, not to everyone – as among these birds there are migratory species (ruby-redhead hummingbird and red flamethrower, for example, hibernate in Mexico).
Hummingbirds are polygamous.
They do not form married couples. The female cares for the offspring, starting with the construction of the nest and ending with the feeding of the hatched chicks, in proud solitude.
Hummingbird’s paws are not suitable for walking.
The hummingbird’s long claws are not only very small, but also weak.
Hummingbirds do not fly like all birds.
Unlike other birds, the hummingbird can fly, both head and tail forward. It will not be very difficult to hover in space in one place, to fly almost vertically, like a helicopter, and also plummet to fall down. This is primarily due to the highly developed, flexible wings of a bird, consisting in fact only of feathers and large, strong muscles. The wing of the hummingbird can change the swing angle and move not only up and down, but also forward-backward. It is customary to distinguish three types of flight of hummingbirds: flight ahead, flight back and hovering in the air. In the latter case, the wings of the bird describe the eight, which allows it to maintain balance regardless of the movement of the body in space.
Hummingbirds fly fast.
Dexterously and maneuverably, they are capable of overcoming 80-kilometer distances. Large species of hummingbirds usually make up to 8-10 strokes per second, while small ones practically buzz with wings, making about 80 strokes per second.