Five Hummingbird Facts
1. Hummingbirds are teeny tiny.
Most hummingbirds are are only 3 - 5 inches (7.5 - 13 cm) long.
The smallest, the bee hummingbird, is less than 2 inches (5cm) long and weighs less than a penny.
For some really great close up pictures of hummingbirds, click here.
2. Hummingbirds can fly backwards.
Hummers can fly forward and backward and left and right. They can hover and even do figure eights!
On average, hummingbird's wings beat 53 times per second. The Giant Hummingbird's wings beat 10 - 15 times per second while the Amethyst Woodstar Hummingbird's wings beat 80 times per second.
To see hummingbirds flying in slow motion, click here.
3. Hummingbirds go into torpor - a special hibernation-like state.
When hummingbirds sleep, they go into a state called torpor that allows them to conserve energy.
Their metabolic rate drops. Their body temperature, which is normally 107 degrees Fahrenheit (41.7 degrees Celsius), drops to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 degrees Celsius).
During torpor, hummers look like they are dead. They may even hang upside down.
4. Hummingbirds have forked tongues
Hummingbirds drink nectar from flowers with a long, forked tongues.
They lap up the nectar at a rate of about 10 - 15 licks per second.
Hummingbirds also eat insects and spiders to supplement their diet.
Hummers need to eat twice their weight every day.
To see a video of a hummingbird eating, click here.
5. Hummingbird eggs are the smallest of all bird eggs.
To see a documentary on hummingbirds, click here.