Hummingbirds are any of the 300-odd species of small, brightly-colored birds belonging to the family Trochilidae. Native to the New World, these are some of the smallest birds that exist and are named so because of the humming noise created by their flapping wings. Hummingbirds resemble sunbirds and honeyeaters in behavior and appearance.
Hummingbirds inhabit the Americas, extending from south-central Alaska to the Tierra del Fuego and the Caribbean. The majority of the hummingbird species are found in the tropical and subtropical regions of North, Central, and South America, while some occur in temperate climates and at great altitudes in the Andean highlands.
What Kind of Habitats do Hummingbirds live in
They are remarkably found in diverse habitats such as grasslands, meadows, marshes, riparian corridors, canyons, desert scrublands, as well as tropical, coniferous, and deciduous forests. Hummingbirds are typically found in large numbers in places where there is an abundance of plants and insects.
Among the most common North American species of hummingbirds, the average life expectancy is about 3-5 years. The longest-lived wild specimen is a broad-tailed hummingbird that survived for about 12 years.
For obtaining nutrients, hummingbirds feed on a wide range of insects, including fruit flies, gnats, and mosquitoes in flight, spiders in the web, and aphids on leaves. They drink nectar from flowers to meet their energy demands.
While several species, including the ruby-throated hummingbird and Anna’s hummingbird, have been listed as ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN, nine species, including the sapphire-bellied hummingbird, are ‘Critically Endangered’.
Hummingbird – FAQs
Some of the flowers that attract hummingbirds include bee balm, cardinal flower, zinnia, salvia, and butterfly bush.
Yes, most hummingbird species seasonally migrate, except a few, including Anna’s hummingbird.
While their average speed is about 30 miles per hour, species like Anna’s hummingbird can have a flying speed up to 60 miles per hour.
Yes, hummingbirds go into a deep sleep-like state, called torpor at night when they are not foraging and when there is a scarcity of food.
- Hummingbirds can perceive the sweetness of nectar and drink only from the flowers that produce nectar with more than ten percent sugar content.
- They have the highest basal metabolic rate among all animals that can regulate their internal body temperature. Their breathing rate is 250 breaths/minute, even at rest.
Different Types of Hummingbirds
Hummingbird Breeding Area
Our species of hummingbirds cover most of the continental U.S.