A to Z of Wildlife: X is for… Xantus’s Hummingbird!

These birds flap their wings at over 200 times a second


Hummingbirds are nimble little things and fly rather like helicopters  – they can travel in all directions, and flap their wings at over 200 times a second.

They need to drink a lot of water to keep them cool with all this flapping.  They also have very long clever tongues that can seek out nectar and insects for them to eat.

Hummingbirds are the tiniest birds in the world and can flash their bright colours, as well as hide them when needed! The bright radiant color on hummingbirds comes from iridescent colouring like on a soap bubble or prism.

A Gorget is the bright flashing coloured feathers of the hummingbird’s neck.

A hummingbird’s brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom…

Hummingbirds can hear better than humans, and can see farther than humans. They can’t smell better than us though. Hummingbirds have little to no sense of smell.

If you want to find out some more interesting facts about hummingbirds, as well as see some amazing footage of hummingbirds feeding, see below!

Wild Challenge!  How fast can you flap your arms? 


Picture from Flickr.