Fun Facts About Hummingbirds

  • There are 18 hummingbird species in North America. Hummingbirds are found no where else in the world except the New World (North, Central, and South America.)
  • The oldest known wild Hummingbird on recorded was a Broad-tailed Hummingbird that was over 12 years old.
  • 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 have such underdeveloped legs that they are unable to walk.
  • A mother hummingbird weighs only about eight times more than her egg.
  • Ruby-throat Hummingbird
  • Hummingbirds can drink up to twice their body weight in nectar every day (most birds only eat ¼ - ½ their body weight).
  • They drink nectar from plants and sugar water from feeders.
  • Hummingbirds lap up nectar with their long tongues. There is a groove on either side of the tongue that creates a capillary action to help draw the nectar up the tongue and into the mouth during the lapping action.
  • 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.
  • They eat insects and insect eggs on the ground and in trees. They love spiders and spider eggs. They use their bill and not their tongue to catch insects.
  • One research study recorded an Anna’s Hummingbird visiting over a 1,000 flower blossoms a day.
  • Hummingbirds can fly up to 60 miles per hour, but typically fly at 30-45 miles per hour.
  • They can hover and are the only birds able to fly backwards and upside down. They can do this because of an extremely mobile shoulder joint.
  • Their wings beat 20-80 times per second.
  • Hummers avoid deep water, but will bathe in shallow pools or dishes, and love to take showers in sprinklers and misters.
  • To keep their feathers in top shape, hummingbirds will leaf-bathe by fluttering against wet leaves.