Please email or share this article!

Interesting Facts about Hummingbirds for Kids

It’s impossible to help but wonder how hummingbirds can move so swiftly or maintain such colorful feathers while admiring these miniature marvels at a feeder. 

Hummingbirds are resilient survivors. It’s always fascinating to hear the distinctive sound of hummingbirds as they approach the feeder. Watching these little wonders at a feeder, it’s difficult not to be curious about how hummingbirds zip about so swiftly or maintain their feathers so dazzling. 

Also Read: Amazing Bird Facts for Kids

Some basic hummingbird facts:

basic hummingbird facts
  • Name: Hummingbird
  • Scientific Classification: Apodiformes
  • Latin Name: Trochilidae
  • Physical Characteristics:  stubby streamlined body, long wings, and long, narrow bill 
  • Size and Weight: 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) in length, weighing around 4g
  • Habitat and Range: Meadows and grasslands, steamy tropical forests
  • Diet: Small insects, larvae, insect eggs, and spiders
  • Life Expectancy: 5 years

Here are some exciting hummingbird facts on the characteristics and behaviors you may see.

15 Interesting Facts about Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are the smallest warm-blooded creatures on the planet.

Hummingbirds - smallest warm-blooded creatures

Hummingbirds lack the insulating feathers often seen in birds, making them the tiniest warm-blooded creatures in the world. By lowering their internal thermostat at night, hummingbirds have developed a unique strategy for preserving enough energy to withstand frigid nights.

Hummingbirds are sometimes referred to as “the flying jewels.”

A typical bird species have between 1,500 and 25,000 feathers. Hummingbirds are the species that have the world’s fewest feathers, even less than 1,000. They can alter the color of their feathers while in flight, earning them the nickname “the flying jewels.” 

Due to their small size, they not only do not require as many feathers, but fewer feathers also make them lighter for more straightforward flying.

Hummingbirds can identify previously visited flowers.

Hummingbirds can identify previously visited flowers

Hummingbirds can distinguish between newly bloomed flowers and those they have already visited. They can predict when a flower will replenish its nectar as well. They may also choose how long it should be between visits to give the flowers time to produce more nectar. 

Also Read: 20 Facts About Flowers

Hummingbirds are one of the most intelligent bird species.

Hummingbirds have a huge brain compared to their body size; it weighs around 4.2 percent of their entire body weight, making it the most significant brain among all birds. They may even recognize people.

Hummingbirds can hover midair and fly in all directions, even backward and sideways. 

The hummingbird is the most agile bird in terms of flight. They are the only birds that can fly backward and can linger in midair at flowers and feeders. They can easily navigate thanks to the figure-eight motion of their wings.

Their hummingbird’s ability to hover isn’t due to the speed of its wings; instead, it’s due to the design of their wing joints. They may invert their wings while they flap by rotating or twisting their upper arm bones. This propels them into the air on both the upstroke and the downstroke. Their muscles and bones cooperate to enable hovering, sideways, and backward flying at rates of up to 50 km/h.

Hummingbirds are solitary creatures. 

When there are several hummingbirds present, they frequently engage in a series of high-speed chases as they fight for available food sources. Male hummingbirds can get aggressive during breeding, and things might get competitive. Male hummingbirds will bob and weave before stabbing each other in the neck with their needle-like beaks to demonstrate their supremacy—a brutal means of obtaining their mate.

Hummingbirds are highly aggressive.

Hummingbirds are among the most violent bird species despite their small size. They frequently fight hawks, crows, and jays that trespass on their property. Bird watchers in backyards often discover that they have a dominating hummingbird that protects all the feeders and chases away visitors.

Hummingbirds can flap their wings extremely fast.

Hummingbirds can flap their wings extremely fast

While the average hummingbird’s wings may beat up to 80 times per second, the enormous hummingbird’s wings can beat as few as 12 times per second, equivalent to almost 4,000 wingbeats each minute. During the courting display dives performed by the males of some species, they flap their wings even faster. 

Hummingbirds can also fly quite quickly, frequently reaching speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour which is faster than any other bird species. 

Hummingbirds are unable to walk or hop.

A hummingbird’s tiny, feeble legs allow them to shuffle rather than walk or jump, so they may move sideways when perched by their feet. These birds’ small feet have allowed them to fly more effectively by making them lighter. However, they will groom themselves and scratch their feet.

Hummingbirds are heavy eaters.

Hummingbirds ingest around half their body weight in sugar daily and often eat five to eight times an hour. These birds consume a variety of tiny insects and spiders in addition to nectar. They may also drink tree sap or juice from crushed fruits.

Out of all the birds, hummingbirds lay the tiniest eggs.

hummingbirds lay the tiniest eggs

Hummingbirds’ eggs are less than half an inch long, yet at the hatching time, they might weigh as much as 10% of the mother. A jellybean is more significant than a hummingbird egg.

It makes sense that so many people are unaware of what a newborn hummingbird looks like. Since their nests are so tiny and discrete, it is challenging to locate them. You may have one amid your shrubs or flowers and wouldn’t know about it.

Migration starts early for hummingbird species that nest farther north.

Depending on the route and the specific species, hummingbirds’ peak autumn migration period occurs from mid-July through August or early September. 

Hummingbirds must gain twice as much weight before migrating.

Hummingbirds already consume twice as much food as they weigh daily during the regular season between nectar and insects. They have to eat more when migrating, accumulating additional fat for a few days before they embark on their voyage. This phenomenon is called Hyperphagia.

The pectoral muscles comprise 25 to 30 percent of a hummingbird’s weight. These large chest muscles are primarily in charge of the flight.

Hummingbirds return to the same site after migration.

Hummingbirds return yearly, sometimes even on the same day and at the exact location. Juveniles have an instinctual sense of where they were born and will return there if they can find food there.

Also Read: Where do Birds Go in the Winter?

Hummingbirds can die from Praying mantis. 

Hummingbirds can die from Praying mantis

Hummingbirds wait at feeders and make a surprise assault utilizing their quick reflexes, despite being around eight times bigger than the praying mantis’ typical food. Therefore, if you find a praying mantis near your hummingbird feeder, carefully remove it and set it down somewhere else. The praying mantis is helpful to the ecosystems in your garden because they consume pests.

Conclusion

This concludes our list of all the interesting facts about one of the most intelligent bird species, hummingbirds. We hope you learned something new from all the above-stated information.