It started one-day several years back, I was outside and didn’t realize what was flying about so quickly. I tried to get closer and voom they were gone, so I waited a moment and waited and I was right…they were hummingbirds. I managed to see them fly about all around the flowers with such grace speed and the colors of some of the feathers were so beautiful.
In the spring, hummingbirds will hover around areas known to have nectar and sugar water and it’s almost mesmerizing. For some people, bird watching is relaxing, for others, it’s just being outside sitting in a rocking chair.
Throughout the years I have learned a great deal from these little guys and it’s very interesting, for one, did you know that they sleep upside down? Yea, that’s right upside down, how cool is that and weird at the same time.
They also have a huge memory, they can remember all the flowers that they have visited and how long the flower takes to refill with nectar after they have fed. This is known as episodic memory and was previously considered exclusive to humans. Research has shown that hummingbirds even recognize humans that are responsible for filling the feeders.
Hummingbirds have no sense of smell but they do have good color vision and prefer orange and red flowers. It’s important to note that RED DYES should not be used as or with their nectar as it could harm the birds. Try naturally red and orange flowers or use red feeders in their structure. Hummingbirds eat every 10 to 15 minutes and the average hummingbird eats half its weight in nectar and insects each day. They have been known to fly as fast as a car traveling between 30 to 45 mph. Migratory hummingbirds are capable of flying more than 1200 miles flying 18 to 20 hours without a break. Now that’s a seriously long drive, what no bathroom break or snacks?
To preserve their metabolic function, a sleep practice is known as “TORPOR” is practiced. This is a deep hibernation-like state when they can’t maintain their body temperature of or around 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
With their wings beating between 50-70 times per second in a normal flight. Hummingbirds can fly in any direction and are the only vertebrates capable of sustained hovering. A hummingbird’s life span is about 3-5 years and their nest can be built to the size of a large thimble and is made of thistle or dandelion down and held together by strands of spider web and sometimes pine resin and greatly packed down with their beaks and tongue. A female can lay 2 eggs at a time that are about the size of peas or coffee beans.