One of my favourite mottos is "Multum in Parvo" (meaning: much in little), maybe that's why I'm so fascinated by hummingbirds.
Here's a few facts about the Ruby-Throated hummingbird:
- They weigh about 3-4 g (an American nickle weighs 5 g - so less than a nickle!).
- Their wings beat about 60-80 times per second in normal flight, but up to 200 times per second in courtship dives.
- It can fly about 845 km non-stop during migration. It flies with a speed about 25 mph (40 km per hour). This means that it takes about 20 hours for it to make this non-stop migration. How does it do it one has to wonder?!!
- Its heart beats about 250 times per minute while at rest and about 1,220 per minute while flying! That's a whole lot of heartbeats during a 845 km non-stop migration!!
- Most hummingbirds die within their first year; those that don't probably live an average of 3 years or so although the oldest known is listed at about 9 years.
- It has a body temperature of 40.5 degrees C but on cold nights, it can lower its body temperature by about 20 degrees C, thus conserving energy. The next morning it speeds up its metabolism and get its body temperature back up to normal within a few minutes.
- It has about 940 feathers.
What an amazing teensy little creature!!