The hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world
The hummingbird is a very small bird species native to America. With a total of 343 identified species, the bee hummingbird is considered the smallest bird species in the world. his tiny size, his speed and his great ability to flight they make the hummingbird a very special bird subject to numerous investigations.
Hummingbirds are native to America, both from the south and from the north. With a very diverse habitat, They extend from Alaska to southern Chile. Only in Ecuador, where the broadest record of different species in the same area is found, are counted 163 types of hummingbirds.
They are territorial animals, which usually live individually in forest areas, where its size and colors easily camouflage. They only come together for mating and the migration season. During the breeding season they require warmer climates, so the coldest seasons of the year migrate south. They get to travel up to 800 kilometers, with great resistance considering its size.
During the winter season the territory of Mexico has become a very common place to observe hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds basically feed on sugar, sap, pollen and small insects. Its main food is sugar, which they extract from the nectar of flowers or tree sap. They can eat three times their weight every day in times of abundance, just as they are able to slow down their metabolism in times of shortage.
One of the most popular characteristics of this type of birds in the time they devote to feeding. The hummingbird eats up to eight times per hour, in short intervals of between 30 and 60 seconds.
One way to protect them during winter, where their main source of food is not very common, is to offer bird feeders in the gardens. And during the year, we can also watch over them, planting a variety of flowers from where they can extract their food.
Hummingbirds can fly like no other bird. It is the only species that can fly in all directions. They can do it backwards and surprisingly, face down. The design of its wings, which distinguishes itself from any bird, allows it to move at an imperceptible speed through the human eye. On a sustained flight, without leaving the place can beat wings up to 55 times per second, reaching 75 times per second on a forward flight.
The main difference with the other birds is their ability to move wings not only down but also up, allowing them to maintain a vertical balance. A capacity that it brings insects closer than birds themselves.
With a wide variety, there is a record of almost 350 different species. Among them we present these three species:
- Rufous Hummingbird: This particular species is very recognizable. Characterized by its reddish tones, it stands out above the others when making the longest migration route. Some of them, due to their location, get to travel 2,000 kilometers to spend the winter in Central America.
- Anna's Hummingbird: This type of hummingbird is one of the most colorful thanks to its colors. It is a kind of medium size, about 11 centimeters. It stands out mainly because, depending on the area in which you live, its size and color of feathers can vary. It is easily recognizable by the pink colors that decorate the head.
- Bee hummingbird: The bee hummingbird also known as the zunzuncito, zunzuncito hummingbird, fly bird or bee elf, is the smallest species known to be only 5 to 6 cm tall.
- Life expectancy: The life expectancy of these birds is rather short. Most rarely exceed the year of life, but they can live about 4 years.
- Predators: Among its most common predators are cats, hawks and snakes. Although smaller species may become victims of spiders, praying mantis or even bees.
One of the main sources of danger is the human being. Climate change and deforestation endangers the survival of these birds, among many other species.
- Beats per second: The speed that characterizes hummingbirds so much is not only noticeable in the movement of their wings, their heart can reach them 1,200 beats per minute.
- Resistance: They are able to withstand long flight periods. They have strong and resistant wings, which compensate for their weaker legs than does not allow them to walk like other birds.
- Symbolism: They are very popular birds in many cultures. They symbolize the good luck, happiness and protection. The sighting of this bird is taken in many cultures as a bode well.
It is one of the most popular birds (along with swallows) in terms of tattoos.