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The Hummingbird is the smallest of all living birds, measuring approximated 5 centimeters and weighing 2.5 grams or less. They reside in the Americas, some 338 known species. Their species are divided into 9 categories; Clades, the Topazes, Hermits, Mangoes, Brilliants, Coquettes, Patagona, Mountain Gems, Bees, and Emeralds. These categories are decided based on their relationship to nectar filled flowers and their geographic location because when scientists repainted the picture of the Hummingbird's past, its evolution had several pivotal points of change, one being the Hummingbird's taste receptor. Thanks to the species' ability to adapt to all kinds of environments, the bird has evolved to the degree that 140 different kinds of Hummingbird can co-exist in only one region!
Hummingbird in an Air Tunnel
Types of Hummingbirds
- Black-bellied Hummingbird (Eupherusa nigriventis)
- Blue-chinned Sapphire (Chlorestes notatus)
- Brown Violetear (Colibri delphinae)
- Buff-tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens)
- Coppery-headed Emerald (Elvira cupreiceps)
- Copper-rumped Hummingbird (Amazillia tobaci)
- Fork-tailed Woodnymph (Thalurania furcata)
- Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii)
- Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula)
- Green Mango (Anthracothorax viridis)
- Green Thorntail (Popelairia conversii)
- Green Violetear (Colibri thalassinus)
- Hispaniolian Emerald (Chlorostilbon swainsonii)
What is the smallest bird
The bird is not only the smallest bird of all living birds, but it has the fastest metabolism of all homeothermic animals. Homeothermic is one of three categories of warm-blooded animals. They can regulate their temperature despite their external environment. This may be because they hover in the air, batting their wings approximately 50 times per second! This makes them fast and makes noise audible to humans, which gave them their name HUMMING-bird. They are conservative little creatures who go into a hibernation state called Torpor at night and when there is little to eat.
In the smallest Hummingbird species, the males are smaller than the females and this is due to their extravagant mating rituals. Because of the energy required of the little males, they are smaller and also the ones most often chosen to mate with so they continue to be small by natural selection. Of the larger Hummingbird species, the male is bigger than the female. Females and males among the different species can also have different length, size and shape of the beak and make them better foragers. Hummingbirds most often live off nectar, spiders and other insects, and spider eggs.
One of the Hummingbird's purposes is to pollinate flowers like bees do. They have likely pollinated a flower that is bright pink, red, and orange.
Males have little to do with the nests. The female Hummingbird will create a nest using spider silk to combine the materials and lay 2 eggs inside. Incubation can take 24-23 days. Like you've been taught about other species the mother will forage for food and return to her hatchlings to put her beak down theirs and regurgitate it for them.
What do Hummingbirds Eat?
Since the bird has a high metabolism, it perches much of the day. Its diet is mainly sugar, half its body weight in sugar from nectar! In fact, a Hummingbird won't likely consume nectar that is less than 10% sugar. Because of their size and metabolism, it's normal for food to be inside the bird no longer than an hour before it's burned off. They spend 10-15% of their time eating and 80% sitting and digesting. Hummingbirds, for a bird with such a metabolism, live pretty long lives up to 10 years or a little longer.
Humans Impact on Hummers
Humans have been supplementing Hummingbird diet for years with bird feeders containing sugar water to observe the birds during visitation. The best solution is to add 1 part white granulated sugar to 4 parts water, although a higher sugar content would be defended by the bird more from other species trying to feed from it. There are a few dangers when feeding the Hummingbird if you don't follow this recipe. “Instant nectar” Hummingbird water products sold may contain preservatives and other things toxic to the bird, as well as adding food coloring to attract them. Other types of non-white sugar contain iron levels unsafe to the bird. Also if your local Hummingbirds prefer your feeder over pollinating flowers, the flowers may go unpollinated, but it's perfectly okay to give them the boost when there aren't many flowering in your area that season.
Aztecs prized talismans made of Hummingbird parts or in representation of the Hummingbird. To them, they were a symbol of energy, hard work sexual potency, and war skill. The Hummingbird's beak represented a weapon of defense. More tribes had stories and beliefs surrounding the Hummingbird. Among them Trinidad and Tobago, known as "The Land Of The Hummingbird". They have the Hummingbird honored in several places; on their coat of arms, the 1-cent coin, and as the logo for their airline, Caribbean Airlines.