The Hummingbird

Posted by: Aamir

Oct 31st, 2006 • Category: Eye CandyTags: ,

Hummingbirds are small birds in the family Trochilidae. They are known for their ability to hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings, 15 to 80 times per second. Capable of sustained hovering, the hummingbird has the ability to fly deliberately backwards or vertically, and to maintain position while drinking from flower blossoms. They are named for the characteristic hum made by their wings.

Hummingbirds are attracted to many flowering plantsโ€” shrimp plants, heliconia, bromeliads, verbenas, fuchsias, penstemonsโ€”especially those with red flowers. They feed on the nectar of these plants and are important pollinators, especially of deep-throated flowers. Most species of hummingbird also eat insects, especially when feeding young.

Hummingbirds bear the most glittering plumage and some of the most elegant adornments in the bird world. Male hummingbirds are usually brightly coloured. The females of most species are duller. The names that admiring naturalists have given to hummingbirds suggest exquisite, fairylike grace and gemlike brilliance. Fiery-tailed Awlbill, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Glittering-bellied Emerald, Brazilian Ruby, Green-crowned Brilliant, Festive Coquette, Shining Sunbeam, and Amethyst-throated Sunangel are some of the names given to birds in this group.

With the exception of insects, hummingbirds while in flight have the highest metabolism of all animals, a necessity in order to support the rapid beating of their wings. Their heartbeat can reach as high as 1260 beats per minute. They also typically consume more than their own weight in food each day, and to do that they have to visit hundreds of flowers daily.

At any given moment, they are only hours away from starving. However, they are capable of slowing down their metabolism at night, or any other time food is not readily available. They enter a hibernation-like state known as torpor. During torpor, the heartrate and rate of breathing are both slowed dramatically (the heartrate to roughly 50-180 beats per minute), reducing their need for food.

Trivia Time: The Bee Hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world, weighing 1.8 grams. A more typical hummingbird, such as the Rufous Hummingbird, weighs approximately 3 g and has a length of 10-12 cm (3.5-4 inches). The largest hummingbird is the Giant Hummingbird, with some individuals weighing as much as 24 grams.


Posted by: Aamir

Oct 31st, 2006 • Category: Eye CandyTags: ,
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  1. samuru999
    October 31st, 2006 at 16:11:


    Hi Ari
    I really like this post on hummingbirds, as I am a bird lover, and enjoyed so much learning all your information on them.
    They are quite amazing and beautiful!
    #3 and #5 of your pictures are very
    captivatingly colorful…just beautiful!
    Thanks Ari!
    Take care!

    P.S I hope things will slow down for you soon.

  2. starry nights
    October 31st, 2006 at 23:47:


    Beautiful pictures Ari. I will never look at a hummingb bird the same way again. thanks for all that info.

  3. priya
    November 1st, 2006 at 02:21:


    Ari: They are all such beautiful and your got it so well with your eyes:-)))

  4. hpy
    November 1st, 2006 at 07:37:


    Great pictures of such small creatures.

  5. Corinne
    November 1st, 2006 at 11:10:


    OK… the 3rd photo blew me away! The colours, the clarity, the focus… One of your best!

  6. shruti
    November 1st, 2006 at 13:04:


    beautiful picture…
    im a great nature lover so these pics just capture me in their beauty…

  7. priya
    November 1st, 2006 at 13:22:



    Happy birthday november boy:-)) I am not sure of the dates…

  8. Joel Reynolds
    November 1st, 2006 at 15:59:


    Hey Ari

    Great shots as usual. You really captued some great moments. I think the last one is my favourite, but they are all great – the colour in the first few looks amazing. Well done!

  9. photowannabe
    November 3rd, 2006 at 05:43:


    Magnificent hummer photos. I found your blog through kimberly’s blog. I will be back.

  10. hpy
    November 3rd, 2006 at 06:50:


    Is the first flower a kniphofia?

  11. Reflex
    November 3rd, 2006 at 07:59:


    Amazing images of hummers! And as always your text very informative. Very good ! ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. Nida
    November 3rd, 2006 at 08:29:


    The third picture is AMAZINGLY beautiful :).
    thanks for sharing such a calming post :).
    You sure do have an interest in Environmental science concerning birds ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. mojindro
    November 3rd, 2006 at 12:26:


    lovely post…

  14. Anonymous
    November 3rd, 2006 at 15:01:


    Great post. I have always been fascinated by humming birds. How did you manage to capture so many different humming birds? Thanx for all the information too.

  15. Suji
    November 3rd, 2006 at 15:34:


    Sorry last comment was mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. priya
    November 3rd, 2006 at 22:30:


    Ari: When you go back in starry post few weeks back, thaz how I know.. Missed my cake thou’.

  17. Rauf
    November 5th, 2006 at 01:51:


    Sweet pictures Aamir

  18. Priyankari
    November 6th, 2006 at 12:29:


    Lovely pics! Just loved them!

  19. Gangadhar
    November 7th, 2006 at 05:10:


    spectacular post,Ari..I always love bird watching..And you made my day by posting these cute birds here..And in the notes somewhere u mentioned shrimp tree..what it is? any idea,Ari?

  20. pegasus
    November 10th, 2006 at 05:44:


    what is the camera that u use?

  21. pegasus
    November 10th, 2006 at 05:45:


    what is the camera that u use?

  22. Lord Boo
    November 10th, 2006 at 10:00:


    awww, they are so tiny ! li’l dinky things ! ๐Ÿ˜€ loved the 3rd pic, bro ! one of your best ones, i think ! it’s so colourful ! *hugs*

  23. Anonymous
    November 10th, 2006 at 20:39:


    hmmm @ hummingbird .. it’s very impressive that u captured a hummingbird in flight .. patience is a virture ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think a hummingbird does 600 flaps per second .. or was it 300 ?

  24. trinitystar
    November 11th, 2006 at 00:20:


    Absolutely beautiful the way you have captured the spirits of the Masters of the skies. Thank for this close introduction these birds. :o)


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