Hummingbird: Description, Habitat, & Fun Facts


A Hummingbird is an omnivorous creature belonging to the Animalia family, phylum Chordata, class Aves, order Apodiformes, and family Trochilinae. Its genus is Trochilinae. Its height is up to 2 to 8 inches, it weighs up to 0.07 to 0.7 ounces, and it has a wingspan of 3 to 5 inches, with a lifetime of up to 3 to 5 years.

A Hummingbird is a bird that feeds on nectar, tree sap, insects, and spiders. The long, thin beak and the ability to hover are the most distinguishing characteristics. Hummingbirds are preyed upon by hawks, snakes, and lizards.

Physical features include grey, brown, red, tan, green, and white skin colorations, and feathers on the skin, with a top speed of 30 mph.

Hummingbird Bird Description

Hummingbirds are mostly found in the Americas and belong to the Trochilidae family, which is also their etymology. Hummingbirds come in 350 distinct species, including the bee, anna, ruby-throated, and topaz. The list, however, is updated annually as new varieties are identified.

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The bee hummingbird is the tiniest of the hummingbirds, weighing just approximately 2 grammes. Two of these bird species are currently known to be extinct. They’re also known for being able to fly backwards.


Hummingbirds may be seen in a number of locations in the Americas, which is great news for bird lovers. Even among the 340 distinct species, these birds are only found in the New World, so if you live in the Eastern Hemisphere, you may need to fly.

Hummingbirds of many species, such as the bee, anna, topaz, and ruby-throated hummingbirds, may be found in various regions of the world. Because these birds prefer the warmth, getting closer to the equator is the quickest way to discover one of these rare and distinctive species.

You can still see almost half of the known species that reside just near the equator over Mexico. The Southwestern states of California, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico are among the regions where these little birds may be found.

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Hummingbird sightings are common in certain locales, like the Davis Mountains State Park in Texas and therefore the Ramsey Canyon Preserve in Arizona.

While the actual population of hummingbirds is unknown, an official American census estimates that some species, such as ruby-throated hummingbirds, number in the millions. There are approximately 300 species of birds, with roughly half of them living around the equator.


Amazing Hummingbird Facts

• A female will have one or two broods, with a clutch size of no more than three eggs. The eggs are only half an in. in diameter, and therefore the mother must look after them for 2 weeks until they hatch.

• Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backward because their wingspan is at least one-fourth of an inch longer than their whole length.

• The humming sound that their wings create when they flap together rapidly gives them their name.

• A hummingbird weighs less than a cent on average. In fact, the mature bee hummingbird is barely 2 grammes in weight.

• Hummingbirds aren’t particularly heavy, although they can grow to be quite huge. The world’s biggest hummingbird measured almost 9 inches in length.


Hummingbird Species

Trochilidae is the scientific name for these birds, and they belong to the same family. They are members of the Animalia kingdom and therefore the Chordata phylum. Their order is Apodiformes, and they belong to the Aves class.

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Trochilidae are derived from the Greek word trochilos, which some sources translate as “little bird.” Its origins, however, may be traced back to the Ancient Greek word τρoχίλος, which means “Egyptian plover.” A plover may be a wader that’s fat and features a short beak, which distinguishes it from hummingbirds.

Hummingbird Appearance and Behaviour

The size of these birds is modest. Even the largest of these birds, the South American Patagona gigas, is just 8 inches long. Hummingbirds, on the other hand, come in a variety of sizes.

The bee hummingbird is 2.25 inches long, while the calliope hummingbird is three inches long. Topaz hummingbirds, on the other hand, are 3.1 to 3.5 inches long. These birds have a somewhat distinct appearance compared to other birds, which adds to their appeal.

They have beautifully long bills and wings, despite their sleek, small bodies. While their small legs make walking difficult, they don’t need to because their wings move roughly 10-15 times each second, enabling them to hover in position.

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Their flight is distinctive and intriguing in many ways, including their tremendous speed. They are the only birds that can fly backwards due to the strength of their wings.

They may shift directions in the blink of an eye, appearing to float in mid-air. The bird can fly upside down if they want to.These birds are known to be hostile and will frequently chase away visitors.

They are among the most dangerous birds, which sounds counterintuitive given their small size. They may not only chase away huge birds, but they can also attack other animals and even humans.


Hummingbird Diet

Because birds consume half of their body weight in sugar, sugar water is the most effective technique to lure them to a bird feeder. These birds eat around five to eight times every day, and they get their sugar from nectar and fruit.

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Hummingbirds will seek out insects and invertebrates for food when they aren’t feeding on sugar, sugar water, or natural nectar. Ants, spiders, beetles, mosquitos, gnats, weevils, fruit flies, and aphids are among their favourite foods, making them great house guests.

They’ll also eat whatever food is caught in spider webs if they’re in a hurry. Check out our “What Do Hummingbirds Eat?” page for a comprehensive list of hummingbird meals.


Hummingbird Predators, Threats and Conservation Status

Because of their small size, these birds face tons of predators, which can explain why they need to be so violent to defend themselves. Their eggs are always in peril of being eaten by predators, with humans being one among the foremost serious risks.

The natural habitats of those animals are dwindling as cities become increasingly developed. Hummingbirds are threatened by deforestation, but the average bird enthusiast can help by providing a hummingbird feeder and plenty of greenery in their yard to attract the birds looking for a spot to construct a nest and eat.

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As they escape the clutches of frogs, snakes, lizards, squirrels, chipmunks, blue jays, crows, and other hostile birds, these birds are always in peril . To prevent predators, they need to pay great attention to their eggs.

Blue jays, squirrels, chipmunks, and crows search for the eggs and young even after they need hatched. Hummingbirds eat nectar from flowers as well as broken fruit from which they can obtain natural sugar.

These birds aren’t predators, but they will go after little insects. They will only go after anything larger than a spider or beetle if they feel threatened, and then only to protect themselves.


Hummingbird Reproduction, Babies and Lifespan

Hummingbirds begin mating at the age of 1 year. Female hummingbirds can have up to 3 baby broods per annum , leading to a complete of six young hummingbirds. A male hummingbird must persuade a female hummingbird that he’s the proper fit her before mating.

As a result, males are more colourful than females, which may be a natural evolutionary feature shared by most bird species. Hummingbird females are known to be lonely moms, while males move on with their lives after impregnating the female.

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She stays behind to deposit her eggs, which she will incubate for two weeks. The eggs are round the same size as navy beans. Female hummingbirds normally only deposit two eggs during a single breeding cycle.

Their young, known as chicks, will stay in the nest for up to four weeks while their mother cares for and feeds them. Hummingbirds have a 3 to 5-year life span.

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