Discover its qualities
It is a bird that can move its wings faster than any other… it is the hummingbird!
There are about 330 species of hummingbird. The smallest, called the zunzuncito hummingbird, lives in Cuba, it measures about 5.5 cm from beak to tail (an inch) and weighs less than a coin. The giant hummingbird, as its name indicates, is the largest of the species, measuring approximately 25 cm.
Hummingbirds are native to the American continent. You find them from north to south: from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in the extreme south of Argentina. They are also found on a variety of islands in the Caribbean. The hummingbird has qualities that make it unique and very fascinating, these are some of them.
- Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards. They also fly sideways, up and down, and even over the same point in the air, as if floating.
- Hummingbirds can beat their wings up to 80 times per second. The beating of their wings is what creates the distinctive sound when flying and allows them to travel at speeds of 54 km per hour (34 mph). Something very curious is that hummingbirds do not use their legs to walk or jump like other birds do; they only use them to hold on to the branches and rest. Because they need to conserve energy, hummingbirds spend most of their time resting.
- Hummingbirds are essential for the ecosystem, they feed on the nectar of flowers, contributing to pollination. The insects and spiders found in the flowers are also part of the hummingbirds’ diet. All of these foods provide you with the calories you need to fly.
- The female lays one or two eggs, brooding them in her nest for 15 to 20 days. At birth, the chicks are fed by their mother for a month.
- Depending on the species, hummingbirds live on average from 3 to 5 years.