Monday, September 15, 2008

Cool Stuff About Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are fascinating. They are probably the bird I get the most questions about and the bird I am asked to give the most presentations about. Since hummers seem to be on everyone's mind since they are present in large numbers right now, I thought it would be a good time to post a few interesting things about them.
- In flight, a hummingbird's heart rate exceeds 1200 beats per minute
- Hummingbirds can enter a state of stupor to survive cold weather, and their heart rate may drop to 50 beats a minute and they may not breath for long periods of time
- Hummingbirds are the only birds which can fly backwards
- Many ruby-throated hummingbirds cross 500 - 600 miles of open water
- Hummingbirds are polygamous and dad does not contribute to raising his babies

If you love hummingbirds, you should love spiders. Not only are small spiders prey for hummingbirds, but hummingbirds will pick small insects out of a spider's web and use spider silk to build their nests. Some larger spiders can eat hummingbirds, however. Other hummingbird predators include cats, shrikes, roadrunners, and large frogs.

If you have ever had a humimngbird in hand, you would be absolutely amazed that a bird so tiny is so hardy and resilient. Truly a miracle.

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