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Birds of the Alphabet ~ Hummingbird

When I saw that today’s letter for the Birds of the Alphabet was “H”, I knew exactly what bird to talk about.


Snapped this photo from my deck feeder. Love seeing these tiny birds that will fit in your hand.

While reading about hummingbirds over the years, as well as observing from my deck, I have learned a lot about these incredible birds.

  • A hummingbird’s brilliant throat color is not caused by feather pigmentation, but rather by iridescence in the arrangement of the feathers. Light level, moisture, angle of viewing, wear and tear, and other factors all influence just how bright and colorful the throat may appear.
  • Hummingbirds cannot walk or hop, though their feet can be used to scoot sideways while they are perched. These birds have evolved smaller feet to be lighter for more efficient flying. They will use their feet for itching and preening.
  • Hummingbirds have 1,000 to 1,500 feathers, the fewest number of feathers of any bird species in the world. Not only do they not need as many feathers because of their tiny size, but fewer feathers also keeps them more lightweight for easier flight.
  • Roughly 25 to 30 percent of a hummingbird’s weight is in its pectoral muscles. These are the broad chest muscles principally responsible for flying.
  • An average hummingbird’s heart rate is more than 1,200 beats per minute. In comparison, a human’s average heart rate is only 60 to 100 beats per minute at rest.

Photo ©CarolDM All Rights Reserved

  • Have hummingbirds in your world?

    • Yes
    • No


What do you think?

Written by Carol DM


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  1. You are moving right along. We have them but for a very short season.
    You are the lucky recipient of random comment number 117 “The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence.” —Norman Vincent Peale


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