Do hummingbirds feed their babies at night

Do Hummingbirds Feed At Night? [Learn Their Night Routine]

If your feeders are constantly empty in the morning, you might be wondering if hummingbirds feed at night. This is a common question and one we’re going to answer in more detail.

In general, hummingbirds are not nocturnal and will feed during the day. They like to feed heavily in the early hours of the morning and then again in the evening just before they settle down for the night. Of course, they do feed all day but really fill up during these hours.

There have been instances of people seeing hummingbirds feeding at night but this generally only happens in the warmer weather. On rare occasions you might see a hummingbird or two if you have your outdoor lights on. Apart from nectar, hummingbirds also eat plenty of insects as these provide the little birds with protein. So, if you see a hummer flitting around at night, it could be snapping up any insects it can find.

The only other time that hummingbirds may be active during the night is during migration. So, where do hummingbirds go at night?


  • 1 What Hummingbirds Do At Night
  • 2 Why Do Some Hummingbirds Migrate During The Night?
  • 3 Do Hummingbirds Have Good Night Vision?
  • 4 Do Mother Hummingbirds Leave The Nest At Night?
  • 5 Will Hummingbirds Sleep Together To Keep Warm?
  • 6 Frequently Asked Questions:
  • 7 Final Thoughts

What Hummingbirds Do At Night

Hummingbirds have a very high metabolism which is why they need to feed frequently to replenish their energy. Even while feeding, you’ll often see a hummingbird hovering and still madly beating its wings.

In order to survive throughout the night, a hummingbird needs to conserve its energy as much as possible. Otherwise, it would starve.

For this reason, hummingbirds go into a type of hibernation every night as they go to sleep. This state of hibernation is called Torpor. In order to achieve this, a hummingbird will lower its metabolic rate to around 1/15 of its normal active rate.

Hummingbirds will also drop their body temperature and their heartbeat to around fifty beats per minute. They even slow down their breathing quite significantly. This allows the hummingbird to conserve around 60% of the energy it normally expends.

To ensure their safety while in this state of Torpor, hummingbirds will find nice safe roosting spots deep within the higher branches of a tree. This will also protect them from the elements if the temperature starts to drop.

During this time, a hummingbird may even hang upside down from the branch of a tree. It usually takes around twenty minutes or more for hummingbirds to wake up from their state of hibernation.

Once fully awake, the first thing a hummingbird will do is feed. This is to replenish the energy lost during the night. In fact, a hummingbird will consume around twenty-five percent of its daily intake in the early hours of the morning.

Why Do Some Hummingbirds Migrate During The Night?

Some species of hummingbird have to travel long distances during their migratory journey. For example, the Ruby Throated hummingbird has to fly over the Gulf of Mexico.

This is quite a long journey for the little hummers. And, when they fly over the water, there’s nowhere for them to land and have some sleep. For this reason, they must continue flying for at least part of the night.

To be able to take this journey successfully, the hummingbirds will have an enormous feed before taking off. In fact, they will double their weight to ensure that they’ll have enough energy for the very long flight.

Do Hummingbirds Have Good Night Vision?

Because they’re not naturally nocturnal birds, hummingbirds don’t have very good night vision. This is another reason why they don’t generally feed at night unless they’re in an area with bright artificial lighting.

And remember, if they are migrating during the night, they really don’t need to see where they’re going because their migratory path is part of their natural instinct.

Do Mother Hummingbirds Leave The Nest At Night?

A mother hummingbird will not leave the nest at night because she has to keep the eggs warm, especially if the temperature starts to drop.

Even during the day, the mother hummingbird will only leave the nest for very short periods of time so that she can feed and keep up her own energy.

Will Hummingbirds Sleep Together To Keep Warm?

Hummingbirds prefer to sleep alone at night and don’t need to huddle together to keep warm. Remember that their state of torpor allows them to drop their body temperature to conserve energy.

In fact, hummingbirds are generally quite solitary. So, while you might see a few hummingbirds spending the night in the same tree, they’re generally spaced well apart from each other.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do hummingbirds fly around at night?

Hummingbirds will fly at night but only during their migration.

What could be draining my hummingbird feeder at night?

If you wake up to an empty hummingbird feeder in the morning, the likely culprits could be bats, raccoons, squirrels and even bears.

Why does my hummingbird feeder empty so quickly?

This could be the result of other songbirds drinking at your feeders. If the feeding ports are large enough, your feeders could be attracting finches or orioles.

Final Thoughts

As a general rule, hummingbirds don’t feed at night. They like to conserve their energy and get some sleep. However, you might see the occasional hummer hovering around in the evening if you have bright artificial lights. This is because the bird is catching the insects that might be attracted to the light.

The only other time that hummingbirds may be active during the night is during migration. This is because certain species of hummingbird have to fly over long stretches of water. During this time, they won’t have any place to land and bed down for the night, so they’ll just keep going.

Hummingbirds also don’t have good night vision as they’re not naturally nocturnal. Instead, they find a nice cozy spot high up in the branches of a well-sheltered tree and go into a deep sleep or a state of hibernation.

Then, once the sun starts to rise, they’ll wake up from their slumber and head to the nearest source of nectar so that they can replenish their energy.

Amazing Facts about Hummingbirds at Night

Hummingbirds are truly one of the most beautiful and amazing birds in the world. But do you know what they do at night? We look at the life of a hummingbird at night, what they do and why these activities are important to their survival.

Are hummingbirds nocturnal or active at night?

Hummingbirds usually feed heavily in morning, the evening hours and begin to settle in about a half hour or so before dark. But in some locations--especially if there is artificial lighting such as porch light--hummingbirds may actually feed well into the night, usually during warmer weather. Hummingbirds do also fly at night, but this almost always happens during migration. 

Hummingbirds and Sleep

When hummingbirds sleep, they go into a hibernation-like state called Torpor (pronounces TOR-per). This is a really deep sleep. Their metabolism will lower to one-fifteenth (1/15) of normal. Their body temperature will drop to the point of becoming hypothermic. Their heart rate will drop to about 50 beats per minute. Their breathing will slow to the point that it looks like they have stopped breathing. By sleeping like this, hummingbirds can save up to 60% of their available energy.

A hummingbird will settle in a favorite perching place that they feel is safe. If the hummingbird is a female with a nest of baby hummingbirds that cannot care for themselves, the mother hummingbird will sit on the nest.

When hummingbirds sleep and are in the Torpor state, they have been known to hang upside-down. If you find a hummingbird that is hanging upside-down and they appear to be dead, it is actually more likely that they are just asleep. They will probably not even respond if you touched them. If at all possible, leave them alone and they will wake up when they get warmer. It takes anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour for a hummingbird to fully recover from torpor. Once they are up and about, the first order of business is food. The hummingbirds will eat 25% of their daily intake as soon as they recover from torpor.

How do hummingbirds survive cold winter nights?

Sometimes, for reasons that are not entirely clear, individual birds remain behind for the winter, and sometimes, they survive. Thus, as average seasonal temperatures increase, hummingbirds are increasingly becoming established as year-round residents outside of their traditional ranges. Anna's Hummingbird is one species whose range has expanded steadily northward as seasonal temperatures have become milder. Thus, this bird is now a common year-round resident along the northwestern coast of the United States and even into some parts of Canada.

As most people know, hummingbirds feed on flower nectar, which is a tempting "gift" of high-energy sugars provided by flowers in exchange for pollination. In addition to nectar, hummingbirds also consume large quantities of small insects, which are full of higher-energy fats as well as essential proteins. Because of their tremendous metabolic requirements, hummingbirds have voracious appetites, equivalent to the average human consuming an entire refrigerator full of food, hummingbirds eat roughly 2 to 3 times their body weight in flower nectar and tiny insects each day.

Besides being among the smallest of all warm-blooded animals, hummingbirds also lack the insulating downy feathers that are typical for many other bird species. Even sleeping hummingbirds have huge metabolic demands that must be met simply to survive the night when they cannot forage. To meet this energetic challenge, hummingbirds save enough energy to survive cold nights by lowering their internal thermostat at night, becoming hypothermic. This reduced physiological state is an evolutionary adaptation that is referred to as torpor. By doing so, a torpid hummingbird consumes up to 50 times less energy than when awake.

Migration During The Night

While migrating, hummingbirds generally will fly during the day and sleep at night. When the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds are flying over the Gulf of Mexico during spring and fall migrations, there is no place to land to sleep, so it's apparent these hummingbirds must spend at least some of that time flying in the dark.

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been seen leaving
Rockport TX at dusk to head across the Gulf of Mexico. This 500
mile trip takes about 20 hours, but flying nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico is an
important part of the natural selection process that has made these little birds so tough, but unfortunately not all of them pass this harshest of tests. Before leaving land, hummingbirds double their weight by gorging to add fat as an energy reserve. The ones that don't add enough fat won't make it and their genes aren't passed on.

By the way - The rufous hummingbird has the longest migration of any
hummingbird species. These hummers fly more than 3,000
miles from their nesting grounds in Alaska and Canada to
their winter habitat in Mexico.


Ruby Throat, World Of Hummingbirds, Quora, The Guardian

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ᐈ Hummingbird bird: photo and description Size and weight, types where they live, chicks and eggs


  1. Description of birds
  3. How many waves are made by hummingbirds
  5. Expansion Expansion Expansion Expansion Expansion extensions
  6. area
  7. Habitat
  8. Lifestyle
  9. Reproduction
  10. Eggs
  11. Chicks
  12. Hummingbird species
  13. Giant hummingbird
  14. Rapilobi Bee
  15. Rubin Rapibri
  16. Swimming -assemblii
  17. Ordinary Archilokh (Red -Zoby, Red -toothed) or ordinary hummingbirds (Red -zone
  18. Caliptus AN
  19. Plasmic Topaz, Hummingbirds Cortonanced Humbibian with chestnut breast
  20. Buffillebirds
  21. Brilliant Hummingbird
  22. Life Span
  23. Hummingbird Enemies
  24. Voice
  25. Home Content
  26. Interesting facts about hummingbirds
  27. Voice
  28. Video

Description of the bird

Hummingbirds are the smallest birds living on the planet. They are similar in size to butterflies or moths. The weight of the smallest hummingbird is 2 grams. The average weight of most species is between 15 and 20 grams. The length of an adult bird (from the tip of the beak to the tip of the tail) ranges from 7 to 20 centimeters. In this case, the peak length is 1/3 of the total length.


Hummingbirds are endowed with a long thin beak, with which the bird easily extracts nectar from flowers and pollen without sitting on a plant. The same long forked tongue at the end is placed on the beak. During the extraction of food, the tongue protrudes from the beak, folds into a tourniquet and sucks nectar from the flowers into the oral cavity. The bird's beak is used as a weapon of attack on the enemy: with a sharp, needle-like "nose" of a hummingbird, it gouges out the eyes of birds of prey or pierces the body of insects from beginning to end.

Birds are endowed with narrow and long wings, pointed at the edges. In flight, the wings are tightly folded, which allows hummingbirds to deftly maneuver in dense undergrowth. The tail is short, in different species of hummingbird it can be rounded or pointed at the end, but always consists of ten feathers spread out to the sides.

Hummingbirds have short, thin, underdeveloped legs. They are not adapted for walking on the ground, so the birds are always in a state of flight. With the help of their powerful wings, which “work” like a propeller, birds can soar in the air for a long time.

Variegated plumage shimmering in the sun is a memorable feature of the hummingbird. In the color scheme there are emerald, heavenly, scarlet, cream shades. Some members of the family have a shiny crest or collar. The abdomen is painted in light gray or white. The back and head are dark green. The wings and tail are darker than the back. Tail feathers are black. Throat (collar) - green with yellow and red spots. Beak and eyes are black.

Under the sun, the bird shimmers with all the colors of the rainbow. The scaly arrangement of the feathers distorts the color of the feathers, their radiance resembles the brilliance of precious metals.

The legs of some species of hummingbird are feathered to the tips of the claws. Feathers on the limbs are slightly fluffy, usually white.

Sexual dimorphism is manifested in the saturation of the color of the feathers. Males look much richer against the background of dull feathers of the weaker sex.

Hummingbirds molt once a year. It begins with the end of the breeding season, in migratory birds it lasts 4-5 months, in sedentary birds - up to 3 months. First, the flight feathers of the wings and tail molt, then the throat, cheeks and head molt.

How many strokes does a hummingbird make?

In flight, the wings of a hummingbird fold to form a figure-of-eight. During the movement, they quickly turn in one direction or the other. The speed of the wings is so high that the observer sees only a barely noticeable halo surrounding the bird and hears a buzz. In one second, the hummingbird manages to flap its thin transparent wings from 10 to 100 times. The smaller the bird, the faster it flaps its wings. Large hummingbirds make 8 to 10 strokes per second, while small hummingbirds make up to a hundred strokes in one instant. During the mating season, the number of hits increases several times. On average, hummingbirds can flap their wings 150 to 200 times per second.

Hummingbirds spend most of their time in the air, descending to perch mostly at night. The movements of a hummingbird are not like those of other birds. Their flight resembles jumping in the air. They rush straight up, then fall sharply, then describe a circle. Due to the high speed of their wings, hummingbirds can stop in the air.

Hummingbird heart

Hummingbirds have developed heart muscles. The heart occupies 40% of the volume of the body, while the stomach makes up only 5% of the volume. 2.5% of body weight is in the heart. The large size of the heart allows the bird to be active 20 hours a day. During physical exertion, the heart of a bird produces up to 1.5 thousand beats per minute. The heart rate slows down during sleep. At rest, the heart beats 500 times per minute.

What hummingbirds eat

Hummingbirds feed on nectar from flowers of perennial grasses and shrubs. They also drink the sap of trees, into which small invertebrate insects fall. The diet of hummingbirds includes pollen, a supplier of essential amino acids. Arthropods provide protein. Protein food is 1/10 of the diet.

Hummingbirds are the most voracious birds on the planet. During the day, they eat twice as much food by weight as the birds weigh. Such a volume of food is necessary to maintain a fast metabolism and maintain body temperature in a static state.

Hummingbirds have to eat every 20 minutes to meet their needs. They fly up to 2000 flowers a day. Birds are fed in the air. The hummingbird, flying up to the flower, throws out its long forked tongue at the end to the center and sucks a sweet liquid into its mouth. Nectar enters the esophagus, and then immediately into the intestines, bypassing the stomach. The stomach digests only those insects that the hummingbird catches on the fly. The main food of animal origin are wasps, Diptera, spiders, ants and small insects.

Each bird has its own feeding area. The division of foraging areas allows hundreds of thousands of birds to live comfortably within the same range. Birds live alone and do not allow competitors to enter their territory. They fiercely defend their "small homeland", throwing themselves at the violator of the border and arranging a fight. Males do not allow even recently fertilized females into their territory. To drive away a competitor from its territory, the bird first consumes food on the periphery of its foraging grounds.



Hummingbirds live in the Western Hemisphere, they inhabit North and South America. Most of the population is concentrated in the Amazon valleys and along the Andes. These heat-loving birds are comfortable in tropical and subtropical climates. Most varieties of hummingbirds are sedentary. There are species that live in temperate latitudes. In winter, they migrate to warmer climes, flying over 1,500 kilometers.

It is believed that hummingbirds do not live in a climate similar to Russia. However, there is one bird species that likes the subarctic climate zone of Russia. This is an ocher hummingbird that has chosen the Ratman Islands. According to some reports, birds of this species appear with enviable regularity in Chukotka and Wrangel Island. "Russian" hummingbirds winter in North America.


Birds nest in dense tropical forests, highlands, plains and even deserts. Some species occupy large areas, some species inhabit a small area - a mountain peak or undergrowth. Most often, birds settle on the border of mountain and foothill forests at an altitude of 2500 meters. From two to 20 species of hummingbirds coexist on the territory. During the migration season, species diversity in some regions increases to 50 species.


Hummingbirds are active and angry birds. Birds are very active during the day. During the day, they are constantly in search of food, making endless flights from flower to flower. The body temperature at the same time reaches 42 degrees. At night, the birds fall into a stupor - a motionless state in which the body cools down to 32 degrees, and the pulse slows down sharply. Torpor is a vital factor in the life of a hummingbird. Due to lack of food at night, hummingbirds can die. Therefore, to save energy, the bird hibernates until dawn. Inaction accumulates strength to reach the first rays of the sun and rush back in search of food.

Despite their diminutive size, hummingbirds are fearless birds. If the feathered or his family is in danger, he shows extraordinary determination and courage. Hummingbirds are not afraid of snakes, hawks or spiders.

These little birds are not even afraid of humans. Often arrange housing next to people. They can be fed by regularly exposing fresh water in a conspicuous place. Getting used to such hospitality, hummingbirds behave like pets.

Hummingbirds hardly communicate with their own kind. These birds are selfish by nature. They prefer to live alone, gathering in flocks only in case of forced migration or hunting for snakes and birds.


Hummingbirds are polygamous birds. They form pairs only to fertilize eggs. Birds living in the southern regions breed all year round; in northern species, the mating season falls on the summer months. During the breeding season, males arrange fierce battles for the territory and the female they like. 70% of the time they sing, often in unison, to keep the song going. Some types of hummingbirds during the song period arrange demonstration performances: they flap their wings and tail to the beat of the song. With the approach of the female, the male begins to sing even faster. The female, having chosen a mate for herself, sits next to him, which encourages him to mate. Immediately after the act, the male leaves her in search of a new "wife".

Males do not participate in incubation and rearing of young. All responsibilities are assumed by the woman. She builds a nest, incubates the eggs, and then feeds the newly hatched cubs. Hummingbirds build small cup-shaped nests of moss, lichen, and cobwebs. The bottom and inner sides of the walls are covered with feathers and hair. Female hummingbirds nest on thin branches of trees or in depressions in rocks. The body is attached to the surface with the help of bird saliva. Building a house takes up to 10 days.

According to observations of ornithologists, hummingbird chicks growing in closed nests begin to make their first sounds at a week of age. However, its incessant screech attracts the attention of predators. Therefore, females are forced to build open nests - the chicks behave quietly in the sun.

The female has to resort to various tricks so that the nest is not noticed by predators. So, for example, approaching the nest or moving away from it, the hummingbird performs zigzag maneuvers resembling a falling leaf. Even the speed of a bird corresponds to the speed of a falling leaf. Flying away from the nest, the female hummingbird imitates the flight of a moth, thereby drawing attention to herself, and not to the nest.


The female lays two tiny white eggs at a time. The size of the eggs of the bee hummingbird is 11 * 8 millimeters, and the giant hummingbird - 20 * 12 millimeters. The average weight of eggs is 0.7 grams. Most hummingbird species make one clutch per year. There are species whose females lay eggs 2-3 times a year. Usually, those females in which the first brood died in the early stages of development lay eggs again.

Hummingbirds lay their eggs early in the morning. First, one egg appears, and two days later the second. The female incubates the offspring. He spends 90% of your time in the nest. At this time, females behave aggressively towards uninvited guests. Protecting their young, they ruthlessly plunge their sharp beak into an approaching spider or snake. In order not to starve, the female hummingbird lowers her body temperature from 41 to 32 degrees, thus saving up to 50% of energy.

The incubation period is three weeks. After 21 days, chicks hatch, ranging in size from 5 to 7 millimeters.


Tiny chicks appear blind, with a short, scanty light on their backs. The short beak lengthens quickly. During the first week, the chicks do not make any sounds, practically do not move. The mother, bringing food, touches each chick; so he notifies puppies about the beginning of feeding. The female regurgitates food, inserting her beak into the mouth of the chicks. The diet of young animals: nectar and small arthropods. Chicks are fed twice an hour during the day.

At the age of 10 days the chicks open their eyes and feather wings, tail and back. The vocal cords are not yet developed, the body is folded, but the chicks are already beginning to rise. The female warms the chicks for the first two weeks, then the kids begin to independently control heat transfer. By the 14th day of life, chickens reach 80% of the weight of an adult. From the 15th day, the chicks sit on the edge of the nest. They become active, look around, clean their plumage. The female feeds the chicks for about a month. At the age of 25-30 days, the chicks fledge and leave the family nest. For another 3-4 weeks, the cubs are next to their mother, who teaches them to find food. The plumage of chicks is not as bright as that of adult birds. The characteristic variegated coloration and silvery shade of a hummingbird appear by the end of the first year of life.

Hummingbird species

There are 350 species of hummingbird in the world. All of them live only on the American continents. Uncontrolled capture of birds has put some species on the brink of extinction. The largest population of hummingbirds is concentrated in Ecuador (163 species), Venezuela (80 species) and Colombia (100 species). Many species are unpretentious to the climate and living conditions.

Giant hummingbird

The largest species of hummingbird in the family. The weight of an adult individual reaches 22 grams, body length - 15 centimeters.

The giant hummingbird lives in the western part of Latin America, in the foothills of the Andes. In summer, birds fly high into the mountain forests, located at an altitude of 4.5 thousand meters. They are brought up there. In winter they migrate to the lowlands.

The giant hummingbird is green and brown. The back and head shine with greenish tones, the coat and abdomen are brown with yellow spots. Tail feathers are dark grey. The base of the wings is dark green.


  1. Peruvian Patagonian Gigas. Lives in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile.
  2. Gigas Gigas Patagonia. Distributed in Chile and western Argentina.

Hummingbird bee

A tiny bird the size of a bee. Its length is 6 centimeters, weight rarely exceeds 2 grams. Males are smaller than females. Small hummingbirds live in Cuba and nearby islands.

Adult males have greyish-green plumage. In the mating season it becomes brighter. During the mating season, emerald tones appear on the back, the collar turns red, the side feathers shimmer with iridescent colors. Outside the mating season, the color of males is the same as that of females: light gray with an admixture of black and brown.

Ruby hummingbird

Small birds, weighing 4-5 grams, body length - 9 centimeters. The ruby ​​hummingbird is distributed in the central part of South America: Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela. They mainly live in forests and savannahs.

Individuals of different sexes have different colors: males have green plumage, females have white-brown. Hummingbird girls are distinguished by the presence of a red nape and red feathers on the chest.

Sword hummingbird

This bird species has a very long beak. With a total body length of 20 centimeters, the beak accounts for 11 centimeters. It is sharp, thin, slightly curved upward at the tip. The weight of the beak of the swordsman is 12-15 grams.

The male is “dressed” in dark green plumage shimmering in the sun. Eyebrows are white. The head is red with a bronze sheen, the throat is dark gray. The belly and chest are grey. The forked tail is black. The plumage of the upper body of the female is lighter than that of the male. Juveniles are similar in color to females.

The sword-bearing hummingbird lives in the Andes. Inhabits moist alpine forests at an altitude of at least 3 thousand meters above sea level.

Common archilochus (red-throated, red-toothed) or common hummingbird (red-throated)

North American hummingbird species, one of the smallest representatives of the hummingbird family. Body weight from 2 to 6 grams. Caviar length 7-9 centimeters. Common hummingbird has short wings and a long tail.The back is colored blue-green, the abdomen is light gray.The males have bright red collars.

The red-throated hummingbird breeds in southern Canada and northern USA. For the winter migrates to Central America, Mexico and Cuba. Ordinary hummingbirds live next to humans.

Calyptus Ana

A tiny bird weighing up to 4.5 grams and a body length of 9-10 centimeters. Females differ from males in plumage coloration. In heterosexual birds, the color is green with a metallic sheen. Female throat with red lines. The male has a red head and neck. Young birds lack red pigment.

Calyptus Anna breeds in western North America. Habitat prefers to choose dense shrubs and undersized thickets. It is also installed in city and city parks.

Plasma Topaz Hummingbird

A large bird species found in South America in the Amazon River Valley. The weight of an adult is 9-10 grams, body length is 13-14 centimeters. Color: black head, green chest with blue spots and a black stripe along the edge. The neck is scarlet, the tail feathers are orange and light red. Golden belly. The tail feathers are purple, the upper parts of the wings are burgundy with black tips. The Plasma-Pazed Hummingbird feeds mainly on insects, rarely feasting on nectar.

Crowned chestnut-breasted hummingbird

Crowned hummingbird weighs 7-9 grams, body length - 10-12 centimeters. The beak is thick and short. The plumage on the upper body is bright green, the head is painted in a lemon shade. Cream-coloured patches above the eyes. The underside of the body is brick-colored. Females have dirty yellow droplets on their necks.

Crowned chestnut-breasted hummingbirds are part of the genus Crowned hummingbirds. This bird species is found in the dense rainforests of the Andes in Venezuela and Peru.

Buffy Hummingbird or Red Selasphorus

The only species of hummingbird living in Russia. Weight - 3.9 grams. Body length - 8.5 centimeters. The tail is wide. The wings are short and narrow. The color of the buffy hummingbird is similar to the color of passerines. The body is painted brown. There is a red triangular spot on the throat. The tail is red, the wings are brown. The female has a green upper body, whitish underparts, and bands of green and red throat feathers.

The Buffy Hummingbird lives in Alaska and Western America. Winters in Mexico. Those who live in Russia migrate to Central America for the winter.

Brilliant Hummingbird

Adult birds weigh 8-9 grams and reach a body length of 14 centimeters. Females differ from males by the presence of a white spot behind the eye. Otherwise, the plumage of birds is blue-green, shimmering in the sun in various shades.

Sparkling hummingbirds live in South America from Bolivia to Argentina. They prefer to settle in dense forests, shrub plantations, gardens. It nests on ledges of rocks. Characteristics of the species: males are involved in the upbringing of young animals.

Life expectancy

Hummingbirds have a high percentage of cases at an early age. Only 40% of chickens survive. High mortality is associated with adverse weather conditions (for the first two weeks, the cubs still cannot control their body temperature and freeze), attacks by birds of prey (hawks, crows, bats).

In the wild, hummingbirds live an average of 5 to 8 years. One case is known when a hummingbird lived for 12 years. The record belongs to the sparkling blue-throated hummingbird. In captivity, birds can live 3-4 years.

Enemies of hummingbirds

Tarantulas and tree snakes eat small birds with pleasure. Predators sneak up on hummingbird nests and swallow the female whole, along with her eggs.

When an enemy approaches, a hummingbird gives warning signals to other birds, consisting of a series of short shrill sounds. Having gathered in a small flock, hummingbirds attack ravens and hawks. They furiously rush to the attack, pecking out the eyes of the enemy.

Birds of prey from the corvid and toucan families are not averse to eating a small bird. Nest-robbing bats, timber falcons, and pygmy owls feed mainly on adult hummingbirds.

A man who destroys miniature birds for colored feathers shimmering in the sun is helping to reduce the number of hummingbirds.


Hummingbirds emit short loud calls lasting half a second. Sometimes they turn into a series of calls. The intonation of the voice changes depending on the situation. When danger approaches, the bird emits aggressive sound signals.

Vocalization ends with a high-pitched guttural sound that is unpleasant to the human ear. Adult chicks, like their older counterparts, emit short low-frequency trills. The structure of the larynx, like that of parrots, suggests that hummingbirds will be able to learn to sing.

Some species of hummingbird emit persistent whistles lasting 2 to 3 seconds. And the songs of dwarf bees last from 20 to 30 seconds. Hummingbird songs during the mating season are melodic and loud. Individual sounds can be heard at a distance of 100 meters.

Domestic content

Tiny birds are kept as pets. Hummingbirds are kept in small cages or ventilated boxes equipped with perches, twigs, a drinking bowl and a feeder. Hummingbird chicks feed every 15 minutes.

The house is located on the sunny side. Birds sleep soundly at night. If they touch, they don't even move.

Hummingbirds live less in captivity than in the wild. The fact is that for a full and healthy life, a bird needs a special nectar, which cannot be reproduced at home. Also, caged birds are inactive, and this leads to malfunctions in the heart, metabolic disorders.

Hummingbirds are bred in California. For birds, special conditions are created that are close to natural. Young animals live in special planes that maintain the required room temperature. There are isolated cases when scientists managed to mate with hummingbirds in captivity. The fact is that birds deprived of the joys of mating forget about their reproductive role. The first increase was obtained in the European zoo in Germany at 1977 year. For half a century, ornithologists have received offspring from 20 species of hummingbirds, which is one third of all species participating in the experiment.

Interesting facts about the hummingbird

  1. In Cuba, the bee hummingbird is called "zumtzum" and is considered a symbol of love.
  2. In flight, some species of hummingbirds spend up to 20 hours a day.
  3. Bee hummingbirds are a favorite treat for dragonflies, praying mantises and frogs.
  4. The emblem of the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago depicts a hummingbird.
  5. During migration, hummingbirds are able to cover a distance of 800 kilometers without rest in 20 hours.
  6. Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards (upside down). True, with such a flight, the birds quickly get tired. Moving forward, hummingbirds reach a speed of 80 kilometers per hour.



And not just the tail forward, but also to the right, and to the left, and up and down, clearly maintaining orientation body, that is, without wasting time on turns, this amazing bird.

It can be It would be comparable to a radio-controlled model. But I'm afraid the comparison will be not in favor of the latter - not one, even the most modern, even constructed in the most secret laboratories of the richest states of the world model according to its characteristics and next to the hummingbird is not stood.

Judge for yourself. From Florida peninsula (USA) to Yucatan peninsula (Mexico) - approximately thousand kilometers. Migrating, hummingbirds overcome this path in 20 hours. No stops, no breaks for lunch and sleep. Regardless of the state weather in the Gulf of Mexico. In storms and storms. famous american hurricanes for hummingbirds are also not a hindrance. And such a difficult flight make birds weighing only seven grams.

Some hummingbird species fly to the Canadian Rockies when the ground is still covered snow. At the same time, travelers manage not only to hatch there eggs, but also to keep their temperature 25 ° higher than the surrounding air.

Scientists for a long time wondered how such a small bird could "keep" such a high body temperature? It turned out that hummingbirds are very they eat a lot, consuming about twice as much food per day than weigh themselves. Only in this way can they provide themselves with enhanced metabolism and constant temperature.

From unique Anatomical features of this bird should be mentioned very powerful heart: it is almost three times the size of the stomach and occupies half body cavities. This is due to the high mobility of birds and the rapid exchange substances. The heart rate of hummingbirds is extraordinary: some species it reaches a thousand beats per minute.

Also Hummingbirds don't freeze because their feathers keep them warm. Among all the rest small and medium birds, hummingbirds have better thermal insulation due to more feathers per inch of body. Moreover, the birds are able lower metabolism and fall into a stupor - again, to save energy.

It is worth adding here that the hummingbird feathers themselves resemble precious stones in color. In the sun they shimmer and change color. The bird's nest is made of blades of grass, and its size is the size of a walnut shell. And hummingbird eggs are the size of pea.

Recently, ornithologists have identified another the remarkable ability of this amazing creature. Turns out, “a hummingbird has a brain the size of a grain of rice, but uses it,” the study said. It turned out that Hummingbirds are great at remembering information. Here, let's say, the basis of nutrition these birds are small insects and flower nectar - so hummingbirds avoid flowers that have recently been devastated, but return to where still contains food.

Precisely for mining nectar and the beak of a hummingbird is intended, which in all their species is very thin and long, and in some - for example, in the sword-billed hummingbird - much longer than its owner. Thus, representatives of this species are also the longest-billed birds in the world. Usually, the beak of a hummingbird is straight, but in some it is slightly curved down.

Hummingbird language is also unique in its own way. He is a long thin tube with a fringe at the end. Flying up to the flower and hovering in front of it in the air, the hummingbird inserts its beak into flower and, only slightly raising the beak, sticks out the tip of the tongue. Then, with strong swallowing movements, the nectar is pumped into the cavity mouth, enters the esophagus and then, bypassing the stomach, pours into the intestines. If a if small insects meet in the nectar, then they fall into stomach.

Hummingbirds collect spiders and insects from leaves and branches, also hovering in front of them, and sometimes they catch “food” directly on the fly. Hummingbirds feed their chicks by drinking beak to beak with nectar, while not sitting down on the edge of the nest, but fluttering its wings next to "house".
Hummingbirds play another important role in nature - extract nectar from flowers by pollinating them. Many flowers are arranged in such a way that only the smallest bird can assist them in pollination. At the same time, in depending on the shape of the “reservoir”, the beaks of certain species of hummingbirds also various. Nectar is sucked from flat flowers with a short beak, and from deep, like a funnel - long and narrow.

But the most interesting the property of a hummingbird is the ability to sing ... with its tail.
Known that many birds make sounds not only with the larynx, but also with other parts bodies, such as clicking their beaks or vibrating their feathers in flight. Before Recently, there was no consensus among ornithologists about how Thus, the male of one of the species of hummingbird makes a loud sound, reminiscent of a short but very shrill whistle. American researchers from Museum of Zoology in Berkeley (California) found that hummingbirds, Turns out that's what the tail is for.

Looks "solo" as follows way: a male hummingbird rises into the air for about 30 meters and flies downward. The arc in this case is located in one vertical plane with the sun, and the bird tends towards it, due to which the purple feathers on the head and neck of the hummingbird shine brighter and attract the female. AT the lower part of the arc, flying over the chosen one at a speed of about 80 kilometers per hour, the male "whistles".
Studies have shown that this loud sound is heard just in those fractions of a second when the hummingbird spreads its tail.

For an experiment in wind tunnel, scientists removed several outer tail feathers (animal advocates need not worry, the new The bird's feathers will grow back in a couple of weeks. It turned out that these feathers just “whistling”: the sound arises from the fact that they vibrate in air stream. In general, tail singing is not characteristic of most species. hummingbird - probably, this ability arose during evolution relatively recently. In any case, scientists are going to continue research.

Unless, of course, there will be someone research. For the sake of beautiful plumage, hummingbirds were exterminated in very large numbers, which drastically reduced the number of these birds. AT century before last, millions of their skins were exported to Europe from South America and the Antilles. Only from the West Indies to the markets of London sometimes up to 400 thousand skins a year were received. Currently more a dozen species of hummingbirds are listed in the Red Book of the International Union conservation, of which four species are recognized as endangered disappearance.

Interesting facts:

tiny hummingbirds consume food per unit weight a hundred times more than elephants. Speed the metabolism of these birds is so high that even a six to eight hour the interval between meals would threaten them with death from exhaustion. But this does not happen: the body of a hummingbird at night, as it were, stiffens - temperature from the usual 40-45 degrees Celsius decreases in them to ambient temperature, metabolism slows down by 10-15 times. BUT in the morning, hummingbirds “come to life” again and begin to tirelessly extract food.

In total, there are 350 species of hummingbirds. These fragile-looking creatures are the hardiest in the animal kingdom. They are found in very different, often even harsh climates from Alaska to Argentina, from the deserts of Arizona to the coast of Nova Scotia, from Brazilian selva to the snow line of the Andes. (Interestingly, these birds live only in the New World.)

After the death of hummingbirds, their thin hollow bones almost never turn into fossils. Therefore, scientists were surprised a lot when they discovered fossil birds, thirty million years old.

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