They are tiny little birds that can move their wings so fast that they can hover in one place while sucking the nectar from the leaves. The can even fly backwards.... no other bird can do it.
These are little hummingbirds. Lets learn some more....
These little birds are mostly found in South America. There are more than 350 species of hummingbirds and some are only 5 cm big while others can grow up to 20 cm big.
The smallest hummingbird is called the 'Bee hummingbird' and the biggest one the 'Giant hummingbird' even they are still very small. You can use this page for extra reading.
The wings of the hummingbird can move very fast - anything from 50 to 200 times per second (that is so fast that you cannot even see it move that fast). The bird gets it name from the 'humming' sound the wings make when it moves so fast.
Hummingbirds can fly forward, backwards and even upside down and can also hover in one place.
The hummingbird has a long bill which they can stick into a flower and than use their tongue to lick up the nectar. This nectar will give them the energy they need and they will sometimes catch insects for protein.
Many people put out sugar water for these little birds to help them get the food they need. Find the recipe for it here.
Apart from insects, hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of all animals due to the need to keep their wings rapidly beating. Because of this the hummingbird visits hundreds of flowers each day and consuming more than their own weight in nectar each day.
The hummingbird needs to save energy so it spends most of the day sitting and digesting the food they took in and at night they will almost go into a state of hibernation (they sleep and their metabolism becomes very slow) in order to make sure that all their energy is not used up, before they can eat again. This state is called 'torpor'. You can get more information here.
A hummingbird can live from 3-5 years.
Most of the hummingbirds in America will migrate more than 3000 km to the South when the winter comes. This means they fly to a warmer country and will return once the winter is over.
The hummingbird must store a lot of fat before it undertakes this journey, in order to have enough energy for the long trip ahead.
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