Hummingbirds are some of the smallest bird species. With most species of hummingbird measuring 7.5–13 cm in length. Indeed, the smallest extant bird species is a hummingbird, the 5 cm bee hummingbird weighing less than 2.0 g. Hummingbirds lifespan is approximately 3-5 years. But don't take these little flying beauties lightly as the top speeds of 79km/h diving. They are the only birds in the world that are able to fly backwards. Because of these characteristics, hummingbirds are among the most sought-after creatures of bird watchers everywhere.
In order to spend hours watching this delightful little bird, you would have to be able to make it stay in the same place for a long time. You can do this by creating a hummingbird house in your own backyard. This is a bird house specifically designed for the unusual hummingbird species.
You do not need to spend a lot to put up hummingbird houses. You can even make them yourself. Hummingbird houses are small, so you can use small boxes or even tin cans for this. When building hummingbird houses, just remember that if your open hand can fit in the box, then it is big enough for the hummingbird.
The best way to attract hummingbirds, though, is to place your hummingbird houses near flowering plants. Hummingbirds like hovering near flowers because they feed on the nectar of the flower. These birds are most attracted to colorful flowers like the trumpet vine and honeysuckle.
Your hummingbird house will also be more attractive to the tiny critters if you put hummingbird nectar inside. Make sure you do not offer them sugar water because this might cause fungus on their beaks, and could even be potentially lethal to the little birds.
Hummingbirds primarily eat flower nectar, tree sap, insects and pollen. The hummingbird's fast breathing rate, fast heartbeat and high body temperature require that they eat often. They also require an enormous amount of food each day.
Humming Bird Heart Beat
Their hearts can beat as fast as 1,260 beats per minute, which is the rate measured in a Blue- throated Hummingbird, or as slow as 50-180 beats per minute on a cold night when they experience torpor, a hibernation-like state. The Giant Hummingbird beats its wings 10-15 times per second.
Hummingbirds as Pet
Hummingbirds do not make the best of pets. Especially since there are no hummingbird breeders in the US offering birds to anyone but zoos. And it is illegal to own a native North American hummingbird as a pet. It is quite difficult for anyone to have a hummingbird as a pet because of it's sophisticated requirements.
Hummingbirds need an exotic mix of sugar, protein and various other things—easy for them to get in the wild, but very hard to reproduce in captivity. The nectar they get from flowers is much more complicated than just sugar and water, and they also must eat small live insects like gnats and fruit flies. If you could actually find a supplier of the nectar that zoos feed their hummingbirds, you would discover that it spoils quickly because of the protein content, and you have to re-make it several times a day. Would you be home to be able to do that? They need to eat about every 15 minutes.
If you aren’t planning to let it fly free in a greenhouse or large aviary, they also need a huge cage, as big as most macaws: 4 feet long, 8 feet wide, 8 feet tall. You can’t keep them in a small cage. They are also incredibly fragile. It is unbelievably easy to hurt or kill them.
Predators that can feast on young hummingbirds and hummingbird eggs include:
- Snakes and lizards of all sizes.
- Bats, especially in tropical regions or bats that roost in trees.
- Corvids such as jays, crows, and ravens.
- Tropical omnivorous birds, such as toucans.