Saturday, September 2, 2023

Today is National Hummingbird Day!

Today is National Hummingbird Day! These little birds are loved by many people (including my mom) and while we are mostly familiar with them, there are some very interesting types of Hummingbirds.

 For example Living from Alaska, through Western Canada and into the Western United States in the Summer, and Mexico and the Southern Gulf Coast of the United States in the Winter is a tiny, but beautiful bird the Rufous Hummingbird. These birds are small measuring about 3.1 inches, but mighty - they fly 3000 miles during their yearly migration this is the longest migration of any hummingbird. And, they are the only hummingbird which lives in Alaska. Rufous Hummingbirds are able to survive in the cold of Alaska by becoming torpid they reduce their body temperature and metabolic rate at night when it is cold until it warms up in the day. You will find out more about the Rufous Hummingbird in my book Red-Lipped Batfish, Giant Purple Squirrels, Kakapos & More! which you will find at this link.

The worlds smallest bird the Bee Hummingbird is found in only one place the Island of CubaBee Hummingbirds are small even for Hummingbirds they weigh less than half of what a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird weighs and are often mistaken for bees Mom Bee Hummingbirds lay one or two eggs the size of coffee beans, and then incubate the eggs for three weeks. You will find out more about these tiny birds in my book Grasshopper Mice, Laughing Kookaburras, Jawfish & More! which  you will find at this link.

So, celebrate National Hummingbird Day by gathering the ones you love and go for a walk to look for hummingbirds, or get a book and learn about these tiny birds, or learn some fun facts and share them - such as - 

  • With just a turn of its head, a hummingbird explodes in iridescent radiance. Its gorget (the patch of colorful feathers  covering its throat) instantly blazes in shades which span the color spectrum, depending on the species. These dazzling colors come from the feather structure rather than pigmentation. Each iridescent feather has tiny spikes which are densely packed with many layers of microscopic structures filled with air bubbles. These structures reflect light, says Bob Sundstrom, a science advisor for BirdNote, “creating color in the manner of sun glinting off an oily film on water."
  • No other bird can match the hummingbird for agility on the wing. They are able to hover in midair at flowers and feeders, and they’re the only birds which can fly backward. Their wings move in a figure-eight pattern, which allows them to maneuver with ease.
You will find more Hummingbird fun facts at this link.

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