7 Facts About Hummingbirds! Number 6 May Surprise You!

hummingbird, bird

Photo via Flickr.

Hummingbirds are one of the more amazing and special animals of the Rocky Mountains. Here are seven cool facts about these speedy flyers that I bet you didn’t know.

I remember being fascinated about hummingbirds ever since I was a kid watching them come to a feeder at my Grandma’s house. The speed at which their wings moved and how quickly they maneuvered marveled me. They are a truly unique bird that can not be found throughout the world. I wanted to share some of the cool facts about them with you.

About Hummingbirds

There are about 340 different species of hummingbirds in the world, but most of them live in Central or South America. In fact, there are less than 20 species that breed in the US.

They are among the smallest birds in the world.

There Are Only Hummingbirds in North and South America!

I used to think these little, quick flyers lived all over the world. But, I recently discovered that they can only be found in North and South America.

Hummingbirds Lay The Smallest Egg Among Birds

Some hummingbirds lay an egg that is less than 1/2 an inch long.  That is smaller than a jellybean!

They are Omnivores!

That means that they eat both plants and animals. I know it is hard to believe, but these tiny birds do in fact eat other animals. They eat insects, which can be quite small. They also use their long, straw like bills to drink nectar from flowers.

hummingbird, bird, migrate

This little bird migrates a long, long way. Photo via Flickr.

Long Distance Migrators!

Don’t let their tiny size fool you. Hummingbirds and other birds migrate great distances. They travel from the Rocky Mountains south to Texas, Mexico, or even Central America. The Ruby Throated Hummingbird migrates from the Eastern USA over the Gulf of Mexico (a 600 mile flight!) without stopping and lands in Central America.

They Can Fly Backwards

They are the only kind of all the different birds that can fly backwards.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird Weighs Less Than a Nickel!

They are lightweight, which makes it easy for them to fly around so quickly. But, can you believe that the average Ruby Throated Hummingbird weighs 3 grams. That is less than a US nickel, which weighs 4.5 grams!

hummingbird, bird

Photo via Flickr.

Their Heart Rate and Breathing Rate Are Incredibly High

The average heart rate for these little birds is 1200 beats per minute!  For comparison, the average human heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute.

When they are sitting down resting they take about 200 breaths per minute.  For comparison, humans take an average of 12 to 20 breaths per minute when resting.