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Gumbo's Pic of the Day, June 4th, 2014: Humming Birds

Humming Bird 1 WOne of my favourite creatures that are around during the summer months are the Humming Birds.  While taking photos of them, I would occasionally try to get one to perch on my finger.  I would stand, perfectly still, under the feeder and slowly raise my hand up until it was right under a humming bird and when the bird would feel my finger with its tiny feet it would think it was the feeder and perch.  Once, I had to rescue one from being caught under a roof, it was so tiny in my hand.  When you hold them, they are so light that you can hardly tell that they are there.


Humming Bird 2 W

Humming Bird 3 W

Humming Bird 4 W


Here are a few facts I found on the web:

  • Hummingbirds’ hearts are larger in proportion to body size than those of any other warm-blooded animal.
  • Hummingbirds have the most rapid heart rate for a bird: up to 500 beats per minute at rest and 1260 beats per minute during activity.
  • Their flight muscles account for 25 to 30 percent of their body weight, compared to 15 to 25 percent in other strongly-flying birds.
  • Hummingbirds have the most rapid wing beats of birds: up to 80 beats per second.
  • Their unique flight mechanisms allow them to hover for long periods of time, move in any direction (even backwards), and dive at over 60 miles per hour during displays.
  • They have high body temperatures: 105° to 109°F (40.5° to 42.5°C).
  • Hummingbirds may consume 70 percent of their body weight, in solid food per day (8 to 12 calories) and 4 to 8 times their body weight, in water.
  • There are over 300 species of hummingbirds. They live exclusively in the Western Hemisphere, from Alaska to the tip of South America.


Images (4)
  • Humming Bird 1 W: Anna's Hummingbird
  • Humming Bird 2 W: Anna's Hummingbird
  • Humming Bird 3 W: Anna's Hummingbird
  • Humming Bird 4 W: Anna's Hummingbird

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Comments (2)

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I enjoy these birds, although like guys speeding by on motorcycles (affectionately called "organ donors" in Germany) they seem to live on the edge.  Life in Fast-Forward x12!  One year we discovered a hummingbird nest in one of our bushes.  Its eggs were amazingly tiny!  The entire nest wasn't much bigger than my thumbnail (wish I'd taken photos of it)


And PHeymont, we need to get you out of the city more.  I know NYC is famous for its big cockroaches, but if you can't tell a bird from an insect, we need to immerse you into nature more.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

Our first encounter with hummingbirds was on a hillside near Cortona, in Tuscany, waiting for a table at a country restaurant. They were active in the flowers just behind us and we actually thought they were insects at first. One flew by so close to my ear that I could feel the air move without it actually touching me!

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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