BT: Rufous Hummingbird

BT: Rufous Hummingbird

Ok, so I’m a little biased when it comes to this bird.  As many know, much of my bird expertise comes in the form of raptors (ie birds of prey; I told a judge at jury duty once I studied raptors and she asked, dinosaurs? Haha!) but really, my heart really lies in the family of HUMMINGBIRDS.

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I know, totally different spectrum of the bird world, right?  But I love them.  They are the smallest birds but also one of the toughest.  Lets just say the Rufous Hummingbird is one rough and fiesty cookie!

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I’ve been lucky enough to have personal experieces in the field with these little guys from having them hoover just in front of my face to banding and handling them in Texas!  I just love how individual each one of these guys are!

The reason why I’m most amazed by this species is that as one of the smallest birds in the US, they migrate, twice a year, from Alaska to Central Mexico.  That is one long trek for a bird that is only about 4 inches long and weighs three grams!  That’s as muhc as a paper clips!

Anyhow, here are a few tidbits of info about hummingbirds in general:

-Their hearts can beat up to 1,260 time a minute, wings beat 70x per second, and have better hearing and eye sight than humans, but can’t smell!

-Their babies are the size of a penny.

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-They spend much of their time perched to conserve energy.

-When they migrate, they have to have something to eat (they eat insects) or nectar every few hours or their metabolism (100x faster than an elephant’s) will basically kill them.

-They are the smallest birds in the US and the 2nd to largest family following the flycatchers.

-There are over 300 known species of hummingbirds in the world, 15 here in the US and 50 in Mexico!

Now how could they not be your favorite bird either?!  If you want some more hummingbird facts you can visit one of my favorite sites: World of Hummingbirds

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 Hope you enjoyed this weeks BT!  What would you like to see next week?

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11 Responses to BT: Rufous Hummingbird

  1. Niamh says:

    Such cute photos! And I love learning facts about each type.
    It’s amazing to think that such little birds can undertake such a big trip every year!

    • Melissa says:

      I know, aren’t they amazing! There are other shore birds I’ve read about that travel straight through hurricanes too! Now that is determination!

  2. Maggie says:

    Add to that their (the rufous’ at least) migration across the Gulf of Mexico, which is 500 miles of open water, that is done non-stop with no food or rest breaks. Hummingbirds and their huge capacity for distance in such a small body simply blow my mind.

  3. Biz says:

    Wow, that is tiny!! My grandma used to have a hummingbird feeder when I was little – I was always in awe of how still they were, yet were flapping their wings away!

    I saw this on another blog post and thought of you – hope it helps! :D Happy Friday!

    http://www.loserforlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/tumblr_lko3lnNOFn1qjhn43o1_r1_1280.jpg

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks for that link! I definitely needed it today!

      And you should get a hummingbird feeder! They’re super easy to maintain and you can spend hours watching the little guys!

  4. Krista says:

    I’ve always loved hummingbirds. I think I love them even more now! :)

  5. Anna Crouch says:

    I love that you’re so passionate about birds. I’m not…so someones gotta be! I just love it when people go after their passions and don’t let anything get in the way. The quality of you is inspiring. To know your passions and seek after them :)

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