The Earth is full of diverse species. It’s always beautiful and exciting to watch birds of various colors. There are also species of birds that are very tiny in size and they look adorable. Isn’t it?
If you are also a nature-lover just like me, then this article is definitely for you. In this, you will get to know about a wonderful creature of God “The ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus Colubris)”. This bird has an attractive metallic green top and grayish-white underparts. You can’t just ignore it!
Let’s find some amazing Ruby-throated hummingbird fun facts that would give you goosebumps or may open up your eyes with excitement.
Do you know?
1. Ruby-throated hummingbird has very short feet
Their feet are too short to walk.
You might be wondering then for what purpose their feet are supposed to be!
Well, with their feet, they can perch or shuffle from one side to another. There is another aspect of their feet that is for itching and preening.
Isn’t amazing that they do have feet but they can’t walk!
2. Ruby-throated hummingbirds weigh just upto 0.2 ounces
These beautiful hummingbirds are so tiny that they only weigh around 0.1-0.2 ounces. It is a fact that their weight is less than a coin’s weight.
Of its total weight, almost 25% to 30% of the weight is due to its pectoral muscles that prove to be helpful while in flight.
Just imagine, how these little birds are presentable irrespective of their weight and size.
3. Communication through body language and vocalization:
Have you ever got a chance to listen to their sounds made in specific tones?
Let me tell you! Ruby-throated hummingbirds communicate with others through their body language and vocal sounds. These birds often make squeaky and rapid chirps and also tik-tik sounds with their wings, just to inform each other about the arrival of any unknown male hummingbird.
Isn’t it funny!
It seems like Ruby-throated hummingbirds have inferior complexity and this is the reason they do not allow outsider males in their area.
4. Ruby-throated hummingbirds can fly forward, backward, and even hover in place
Don’t you get surprised by this!
These hummingbirds have the ability to beat their wings so rapidly that they can fly forward and backward. Not only this, but they also have the tendency to fly upside down and can hover like a helicopter.
It is very often to watch ruby-throated flying in one place while extracting nectar from flowers.
5. Ruby-throated hummingbirds love nectar-rich flowers
These hummingbirds are fond of flowers with immense nectar. Mostly, they rely on such flowers available within their range. A few of their choices are trumpet creeper, coral honeysuckle, bee balm, buckeye, cardinal flower, jewelweed, red morning glory, and red buckeye.
6. Red or orange-colored flowers are their favorite
Ruby-throated does have some choices in flowers!
Red and orange are their first preferences, but do you know the reason behind this?
Let me tell you! These flowers have high Sugar content.
Yes! You are guessing them right. They love to eat sugars, just like me or maybe you as well.
Oh my god, we have much in common with these ruby-throated hummingbirds!
7. They use their thin beaks and long tongues to extract nectar
To drink nectar from flowers, ruby-throated hummingbirds make use of their beaks and tongues.
The fun fact here is- that their tongues are very fast and can lick flowers 10-15 times per second. It takes about almost 20 minutes to digest the sugar content in the nectar in their bodies
8. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are fast
You cannot predict the speed of these hummingbirds from their tiny size. They are super quick in flying, beating wings, eating, breathing, and their heartbeats quickly even.
53 times per second! This is the frequency of their beating wings i.e. their wings beat approximately 53 times in one second.
Another thing is they can fly forward with a speed of 30mph; however, the fun factor is that they can dive at double speed – 60mph.
9. The heart of a ruby-throated hummingbird beats over 1,200 times a minute
How is it possible?
But, it has been made possible by this lovely creature of God – A ruby-throated hummingbird, whose heart can beat 1200 times per minute.
If we make a comparison with our heartbeat (between 70-100), then approximately 12 times more than this hummingbird. Talking about their breathing speed, it is high too – 250 breathes in a minute.
10. Their appetites are huge
There is no denying the fact that ruby-throated hummingbirds love to eat.
For a complete diet, they need to take sugar equal to approximately half of their total body weight.
They also eat lots of insects as these are a good source of protein for them. After all, our sweet ruby-throated hummingbirds are diet conscious!
11. They can eat 1,000 insects a day
The Ruby-throated hummingbird can eat dozens or more than 1000 insects in a day. Forming the best source of protein, consuming these insects assist ruby-throated birds in the development of their muscles and feathers.
Moreover, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds feed tiny insects and spiders to their younger ones as well.
12. Least number of feathers
One more Ruby-throated Hummingbird fun fact is that-
They hold the record for having the least number of feathers. With a mere 1000 to 1,500 count of feathers, ruby-throated are the lightest birds in the world.
Of course, their size is small so they do not require a huge feather count; however, the minimum number of feathers allows easy access to flight as they feel lighter.
13. Feathers are replaced every year
One more fact related to their beautiful feathers is that they get replaced almost every year.
A new year comes with new feathers for the Ruby-throated hummingbird!
14. They cover a lot of ground during migrations
Raise your eyebrows with another fun fact-
Ruby-throated hummingbirds have the power to fly 500 miles nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico and Central America during both their spring and fall migrations.
That’s really a long way to go!
15. Ruby-throated hummingbirds produce a hum sound
Do you know how these birds produce humming sounds?
To your surprise- it’s their wings with which they produce such sounds. The wings of ruby-throat beat very quickly like sculls in a rowing bat. While moving backward and sideways, the wings create a humming sound.
16. A Ruby-throated Hummingbird or a Hummingbird Moth
Quite often, ruby-throated hummingbirds are mistaken for hummingbird moths and this is due to their looks and actions that are identical to each other.
17. Ruby-throated can look into the ultraviolet spectrum
We as humans can’t see through the ultraviolet spectrum, but these impressive species have such ability.
So, it is not wrong to say that they have high color vision.
18. Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds leave the female right after copulation
Ruby-throated hummingbirds do not have any affection for their mating partner. They just leave their female partner right after copulation due to their lonely behavior and no feeling of affection embarks. (grammar/spelling mistake)
Just imagine- How 2 unknowns come closer to each other only at the time of mating and depart after that!
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are very impressive and attractive to watch. With all the above interesting fun facts, you can easily know some amazing characteristics of ruby-throated.
Get a chance to look at these stunning species and compare these features by watching them. How to attract them?
Just place a hummingbird feeder in your yard with a solution of sugar and water; you will definitely come across at least one.