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The hummingbird is adorably tiny, with the itty bitty bee hummingbird taking honors as the smallest bird in the world. Most hummingbirds are under 2 inches in length and weigh less than an ounce. Their name comes from the humming sound their wings make when they fly, since they flap about 80 times per second. There are over 300 species of hummingbirds, all of which live in the Western Hemisphere. They range from Alaska to Chile, although most species live year round in warm, tropical climates. A few species of hummingbirds migrate to North America in the summer months. If you’ve spotted one of these beautiful creatures feeding on flower nectar in your garden, you know how lucky you are to live in a part of the world inhabited by hummingbirds!
Here are some fascinating facts about these little guys:
Hummingbirds use their teeny feet for perching; they’re too small and delicate for walking.
A baby hummingbird is smaller than a penny.
Hummingbirds can hover, and also fly backwards, sideways, and upside down.
Some hummingbirds travel 2,000 miles in their yearly migration.
The Spanish term for hummingbirds is joyas voladoras: flying jewels.
Hummingbirds go into a hibernation-like state called torpor when they sleep at night to conserve energy.
A hummingbird’s wings can rotate in a full circle.
Hummingbirds can see ultraviolet light.
A hummingbird will visit up to 1,000 flowers per day for nectar.
The favorite flowers of hummingbirds are usually red colored and tubular in shape.
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