Hummingbirds may be nesting in your backyard or you could have neighbors that have routine visits by these very small birds. They’re fun to watch and to find out about.
Hummingbirds are birds which come from the family of Trochillidae. They’re thought of as one of the smallest species of birds in the world. They flap their wings so fast you can barely tell they’re moving. A unique feature is their ability to fly backwards, and apparently they are the only birds that can do so.
Hummingbirds are called nectarivores which mean they feed on the sweet liquid, also called nectar, from blossoms. Their similarity between bees is their ability to measure the quantity of sugar contained in the nectar that they feed upon. Flowers with sweeter nectar, or with higher sugars level, are more preferable to those birds. But nectar cannot provide the proper amount of nutrients so hummingbirds also feed on spiders and insects to acquire protein and other vitamins and minerals.
The hummingbird has a direct, long bill that’s crucial for gathering food. However, for some species, they have shorter bills for extracting nectar from flowers that have brief corollas while others have curved bills for feeding off curved corollas. Unlike most birds, they drink using their uneven and ridged tongues. Hummingbirds seldom eat huge meals at a time; they could live on a lot of smaller meals during the day. In terms of flying, they don’t do it very often as it consumes too much energy.
In the very delicate period of hatching and fledgling, many of these birds die and don’t survive. But those who stay alive continue to exist for up to ten years or more. The average lifespan however is three to five years among those in North America. The longest lifespan that was ever recorded was twelve years, which was acquired by a female broad-tailed hummingbird.
Many hummingbirds are known to be natives to the Americas. A vast majority of these birds are found in South and Central America where it is known to have tropical weather, though other species are able to breed in areas with a moderate climate. Meanwhile, the Rufous hummingbirds is more commonly known and seen throughout western Canada.
A number of events are prepared for the celebration of hummingbirds. These include the Hummingbird Festival and the Hummingbird Migration Celebration. The festival itself includes a car show, rides for children, food vendors, vendors of arts and crafts, live music and many more fun activities.