The Smallest Birds in the World
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The Hummingbird family (Family Trochilidae) includes over 300 species of birds. They are the second largest family of birds (only flycatcher family contains more species).
They live only in the New World (North, Central and South America) from the steamy tropics, to mountains and desert regions.
Hummingbirds are famous for their display flights that are spectacular to watch. Some of their aerial displays are courtship, others are aggressive territorial battles. They are able to stop in midair, fly up, down, forward, backward and sideways. They can reach speeds up to 60 miles per hour. They spend a lot of their energy flying and must feed (on flower nectar) almost constantly.
When they migrate, they fly great distances. For example, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird migrates approximately 600 miles across the Gulf of Mexico.
Hummingbirds vocalize chirping notes, but they don’t really sing. Instead of a song, the males use their showy gorgets to attract females. The iridescent feathers in the gorgets flash bright colors when sunlight is reflected at certain angles.
They can live 5 to 6 years in the wild.
“A flash of harmless lightning,
A mist of rainbow dyes,
The burnished sunbeams brightening
From flower to flower he flies.”
- John Banister Tabb, Humming Bird
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External LinksThis site may help you in identifying " your" hummingbirds: Hummingbirds.net
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