Mar 13, 2012

Making Time Stand Still...

Female Green-crowned Brilliant
Costa Rica

Did you know:

With the exception of insects, hummingbirds while in flight have the highest metabolism of all animals, a necessity in order to support the rapid beating of their wings which is around 60 times per second. Their heart rate can reach as high as 1,260 beats per minute. They also consume more than their own weight in nectar each day, and to do so they must visit hundreds of flowers daily. Hummingbirds are continuously hours away from starving to death, and are able to store just enough energy to survive overnight.

Hummingbirds are capable of slowing down their metabolism at night, or any other time food is not readily available. They enter a hibernation-like state known as torpor. During torpor, the heart rate and rate of breathing are both slowed dramatically (the heart rate to roughly 50 to 180 beats per minute), reducing the need for food.

•Hummingbirds have no sense of smell
•Hummingbird hearts beat from 500 to 1,260 times per minute
•Hummingbirds are only found in North, Central and South America
•Hummingbirds visit 2,000 to 5,000 flowers a day
•Hummingbirds can consume twice their weight daily
•Their color is produced by refraction of light, not by pigment
•Their average speed is 45 miles per hour
•Their tongues are twice the length of their bills
•In addition to nectar, hummingbirds eat insects for protein
•Hummingbirds cannot walk, only perch
•Hummingbirds fly only 20% of the time

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