Fun Facts About Hummingbirds
Find out more about the ups, downs and sideways of the world's smallest bird.
- Hummingbirds are only found in North, Central and South America.
- There are over 325 species of hummingbirds, making them the second largest bird family in the world, second only to flycatchers.
- Hummingbirds weigh 1/10th of an ounce; about the weight of a penny.
- Hummingbirds’ brains are about the size of a BB.
- Hummingbirds’ hearts are larger proportionally to their body than any other bird or mammal.
- Hummingbirds have such underdeveloped legs that they are unable to walk well.
- Hummingbirds' nests are about the size of a golf ball; around 1 ½ inches in diameter.
- Hummingbirds learn to associate flower colors, like red, with food. They do not have an innate preference for red.
- Hummingbirds can drink up to twice their body weight in nectar every day (most birds only eat ¼ - ½ their body weight).
- Hummingbirds can extend their tongue approximately a distance equal to the length of their bill.
- While lapping up nectar, Hummingbirds can move their tongues in and out of their bill at a rate of up to 12 times a second.
- Female Hummingbirds’ tongues are longer than the males.
- Hummingbirds can fly up to 60 miles per hour, but typically fly at 30-45 miles per hour.
- Hummingbirds can hover and are the only birds able to fly backwards and upside down.
- Their wings beat 20-80 times per second.
- During the night, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds can enter into a state of torpor to save energy. Similar to a type of short-term hibernation, torpor reduces their metabolic activity and drops their heart rate from 1,200 beats per minute to 50 beats per minute.