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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Amaze-wing Facts About Hummingbirds For Kids

Read these hummingbird facts about this beautiful bird.

With a large ménage of about 360 species, the tiny members of family trochilidae are beautiful and elegant birds to behold. Hummingbirds, or hummers, are a group of birds named for the humming sound they produce because of the continuous flapping of their wings. The male members of this family are brightly color and present a majestic sight. However, these birds are just as fierce and debonair as they are fascinating. Native residents of America, hummingbirds have enthralled a cult interest and following.  There are various hummingbird species present in the wild such as green hummingbird, jayco hummingbird, rufuous hummingbird, bumblebee hummingbird, broad-tailed hummingbird, Anna's hummingbird, and ruby throated hummingbird.  

Read along to learn some interesting facts about hummingbirds, the small yet fierce and charming birds of the Trochilidae family. You may also check out secretary bird facts and tawny owl facts after this article.

Hummingbird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a hummingbird?

Biologically classified under one of the largest families (Trochilidae), hummingbirds are a group of birds. These Aves further manifest a large species and genera of organisms. Presently about 102 genera and 328 species of hummingbirds are recognized and recorded under the membership of Trochilidae. The members of Trochilidae are found to be ever-increasing.

What class of animal does a hummingbird belong to?

Hummingbirds belong to class Aves; that is organisms that are categorized by the presence of feathers and modification of forelimbs into wings. This bird species is found in many regions of the United States. They undertake long migration every winter where they fly really fast to cover distances over thousands of miles. They are nectar feeders and can consume nectar, sometimes even as much as 50 percent of their weight.

How many hummingbirds are there in the world?

There are no exact details about the total population of hummingbirds; however, presently a total of 325 species of trochilidae are recognized and recorded, distributed across the world. All the birds of this species fly very fast.

Where does a hummingbird live?

Hummingbirds are the native residents of America. These birds are widely distributed and spread from the geographical terrains of south-central Alaska to Tierra del Fuego and the Caribbean. The majority of their populations are found along the tropical and subtropical regions, while some can be located along the temperate regions. They prefer living in regions where enough flowers are present for their nectar requirements.

What is a hummingbird's habitat?

The primary requirement in terms of the hummingbird habitat is the sufficient availability of flowers produced in nectars. Habitations such as arid scrub, near arctic pine forests, coastal lowland, tropical rainforest, alpine tundra, and desert oasis in United States fulfill their requirement. The nesting habits of trochilidae are largely distributed along the temperate and tropical habitat.

Who do hummingbirds live with?

Hummingbirds are not very social and prefer to live a solitary existence across regions of United States. In fact, these birds come together just for the sole purpose of mating and, immediately after, part their ways. The members of trochilidae family are fierce and fairly aggressive with a prominent sense of territorial existence and zero tolerance for intruders.

How long does a hummingbird live?

The average hummingbird lifespan ranges from 3-5 years. However, these birds are becoming endangered, and their lifespan is also reducing along with it.

How do they reproduce?

The reproductive cycle of hummingbirds begins with the counting games of the male members. The males members put forth a number of activities such as a display of lekking grounds, dramatic fights, and songs. Usually, the interested male makes use of the evolutionary trait associated with their anatomy; that is flaunting the vibrant, brilliant colors of their coat. In fact, it is an established fact that the glossier the male trochilidae feathers, the more hale and hearty it is considered. Using this feature, the interested male often parades the iridescent plumage along with the utilization of vocal communication such as high-pitched short chirps and musical whistles to magnetize and hold female interest. Hummingbirds mate through a polygynous breeding system, where they mate with more than one female.

The hummingbird season for breeding starts when there is high availability of nectars. In fact, these birds come together only for the purpose of mating and therefore soon after fertilization part their ways. Following the fusion of the gamete, the incubation period, postnatal care, and nesting are known to be the sole responsibility of the independent mother. Females may either build a cup-shaped, dome or semi dome-shaped hummingbird nest on the branches or shrubs, or trees. Generally, the clutch size is 1-2 hummingbird baby per breeding season and the incubation period varies from 14-23 days, depending on factors like ambient temperature or species involved. The size of the hummingbird egg is equivalent to the size of a navy bean. Newborns are altricial and are largely dependent on the care of  female hummingbirds. The chicks usually leave the nest after a period of about 4-5 weeks after birth.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN red list, the Hummingbird's conservation status is listed as endangered species.  

Hummingbird Fun Facts

What do hummingbirds look like?

A group of small birds, the hummingbirds possess astounding agility in flight. The body of these birds is morphologically designed to support their flight, which is in fact the most commonly used feature for hummingbird identification. Therefore the wingspan of hummingbirds is proportionally larger than their bodies. The bills of trochilidae come in a variety of shapes and lengths. As these birds are known to feed on the nectar of flowers, the hummingbird tongue is extendable to facilitate this extraction. The feet of trochilidae are small and not functional for walking. The skeletal arrangement of trochilidae, along with their muscular framework, is designed to support their flying adaptations.  A wide range of color variations is observed in trochilidae members. The color ranges from tones of brownish, grayish, and reddish colors to metallic shades of red, blue, orange. Sexually dimorphism (the property or traits that lay to differences between sexes of the same species) is prevalent in hummingbirds. Though the female members are larger, the males are more vibrantly shaded with a number of adornments. It can be said that amongst the two sexes, the male members are comparatively more beautiful to behold.

A hummingbird has metallic shades all over its body.

How cute are they?

With their small sizes, high-pitch chirpy and melodious sounds, and vibrant coat, hummingbirds definitely project an adorable and endearing sight. However, as the saying goes, the looks in the case of these tiny birds are quite deceptive. The members of the Trochilidae family are just as fierce as any large-sized domineering organism.

How do they communicate?

The communication channels in hummingbirds are mostly vocal and visual. In fact, the vocals of these birds show quite a range and are usually species-specific. Both the sexes exhibit particular hummingbird call patterns, which may extend from a high-pitched chirp in some species to melodious tones in others. During the diving display, the flapping of hummingbird wings facilitate the communication process. Alarm-calls, mating-calls, courting-calls are a few to name vocals receptions of hummingbirds. Hummingbirds have an excellent sense of vision and are known to detect UV radiations in the range of  325-360 nanometers. These birds lack olfaction. Hummingbird song varies according to the species and can range from short to long.

How big is a hummingbird?

The average length of these organisms ranges between 3-9.1 inches. The smallest members of their family, that is, the bee hummingbird, are about 2.0 inches in length. Whereas, giant hummingbirds (the largest members) are about 9.1 inches.

How fast can a hummingbird fly?

Anna hummingbirds are the fastest flying species of trochilidae. These birds can soar at an average speed of about 55 mph.

How much does a hummingbird weigh?

The average weight in trochilidae ranges from 0.07-0.85 oz. The smallest extant trochilidae, bee hummingbird, has an average weight of about 0.07 oz, and the largest member, giant hummingbirds, weigh as much as 0.63–0.85 oz.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names allotted to the sex of members of these species. The male is generally referred to as male hummingbird, while female members of the species are referred to as female hummingbird.

What would you call a baby hummingbird?

The infants of hummingbirds are usually referred to as chicks. However, with the different developing stages of life, the infants are accordingly acknowledged as hatchlings, nestlings, or fledglings.

What do they eat?

The members of trochilidae are primarily carnivorous organisms. Hummingbird food includes a number of insects such as flies, mosquitoes, wasps, fruit flies, spiders, gnats in flight,  beetles, ants, aphids, and spiders in their webs. Hummingbird nectar diet includes nectars of flowers as well. When in captivity, they can be fed a sugar water mix. Many hummingbird species are nectar feeders and can consume almost 50 percent of their weight in nectar.

Are they friendly?

With proper training and domestication, the hummingbird species are known to exhibit gentle and friendly temperaments. However, they are quite aggressive and may lose their calm if provoked.

Would they make a good pet?

Hummingbirds do not make good pets. Besides being categorized as illegal by law, the domestication of hummingbirds is not at all easy. These members of trochilidae are known to survive in open areas that have availability of nectar and insects. They are not survivors of enclosed spaces and are known to be quite fierce. Right from habitation to the diet of the hummingbirds, it is difficult to accumulate and maintain them. However, hummingbirds can be located at a number of zoos. If you still decide to have a hummingbird as a pet, make sure you get the recipe of hummingbird sugar water right. In order to make the perfect food hummingbird, water and sugar ratio should be 4:1 which means 4 parts water for 1 part sugar.  

Did you know...

These birds belong to the trochilidae category and are the only members of the Aves family that are capable of flight in forward as well as backward directions due to the sheer speed with which the hummingbird's wings move. They beat their wings rapidly to be able to fly in any direction.

The green violet-ear hummingbird species of the trochilidae family are known for their speedy fights. These birdies can reach up to the speeds of 93 miles per hour (150 kilometers per hour).

Bouquet, hover, glittering, shimmer, or a tune are some common synonyms used for the flock of Trochilidae.

While the average heartbeat of a human is about 60-100 bpm, the hummingbird heart rate is about 1260 beats per minute or 21 times per second. As a matter of fact, hummingbird's heart rate is amongst the fastest in bird kingdom. In order to conserve their energy, they enter a sleep-like state called torpor.

Eggs of trochilidae are the smallest amongst all the members of the bird kingdom.

Hummingbirds have no sense of smell.

Hummingbird migration involves two journeys. Hummingbirds migrate either towards the north or towards the south. Migration of these birds can extend over thousands of miles. Such long migration requires a lot of energy.

An average broad tailed hummingbird can take around 150 breaths per minute.

Do hummingbirds ever stop flying?

According to the available studies and reports, a hummingbird never stops flapping its wings; these tiny little birdies are continually on the move, and they hardly ever stop flying (particularly if they are out of their nest).

On average, a hummingbird is known to flap its wings about 60-80 beats per minute. Ruby-throated and Rufous hummingbirds, members of the Trochilidae family, are known to reach a maximum flapping speed of about 200 times per second during their courtship flights.  

Can hummingbirds recognize humans?

The members of the trochilidae family have quite efficient brains. In fact, the brain of these birds constitutes about 4.2 percent of their body weight. Hummings, in turn, make quite coherent use of their brain cells. Trochilidae can recognize humans. In fact, there are certain reports that demonstrate the efficient intellect of hummingbirds. According to previous observations, these birds quite accurately understood who to rely on to refill their empty feeders.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including kestrel bird, or great green macaw.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our hummingbird coloring pages.

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