HUMMINGBIRDS

RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD FEMALE
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD FEMALE
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD FEMALE
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD FEMALE

Hummingbirds are native to and only live in the Americas. They are the smallest birds in the world, with the Bee hummingbird weighing slightly less than a U.S. copper penny. Hummingbirds hover at flowers to sip nectar. Not only can they fly suspended, they can flutter backwards, sideways, up or down. When hovering, their wings can beat up to 80 times per second. In addition to flower nectar, they will also eat sugar water from feeders, as well as tiny insects.

Many of the iridescent colors of the hummers are created by the structure of the feathers, not necessarily the actual color. The brown or gray or green feathers may be overlaid by transparent cells that are structured to reflect only certain colors of light. So, at just the right angle to the observer, the vibrant color becomes visible. The green feathers are structured to reflect in more directions than the gray or brown, so green is almost always visible.

BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD
BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD

The male hummingbirds do not take part in the raising of young, all of their energy goes to the grandiose displays to attract females. Some species have displays where they will fly high in the air and then dive at fast speeds, while making their distinct sounds with either voice or feathers. This is a good example of a broad-tailed hummingbird, whose noise comes from the tail feathers. These photos are of some hummingbirds in my yard this summer.

 

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