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The Magical Hummingbird

Updated on December 30, 2016
Rosie writes profile image

Rosie is a library media specialist. An avid reader and life-long learner, Rosie enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise in many areas.

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Small But Mighty

Hummingbirds are amazing little creatures. They have magical powers unlike any other insect or animal. Okay, maybe "magical" is not the appropriate word, but it comes very close. Only hummingbirds can fly backwards and upside down. They flap their wings an incredible 80 times per second. And while diving, they will flap their wings a seemingly impossible 200 times per second, going at a speed of up to 60 miles per hour!

Their extraordinary abilities do not end there. They are the smallest warmblooded animal and the smallest animal with a backbone. They have the largest brain of all birds, percentage wise, compared to the size of their bodies. Their heart can beat as many times as 1,260 beats per second. They are nothing short of amazing.

Surprisingly they have no sense of smell. They consume more than their weight in nectar each day and are hours away from starving to death, forcing them to have to feed continuously. Fortunately they can lower their body temperature overnight to conserve energy.

Hummingbirds don't come into this life easily. Many hummingbirds die their first year of life but those that survive can live a decade or more. They are small but mighty.

Where Hummingbirds Are Found

Hummingbirds are only found in the western hemisphere. If you are interested in inviting hummingbirds into your backyard or garden, it is very easy. Once you have the proper food and feeder in place, it will only be hours before you see them, or hear them. My heart always skips a beat when I am outside reading a book and hear the familiar hum. I slowly turn to see the magical little creature just feet away at my feeder. Hummingbirds get their name from the humming sound their wings make when they are flapping them.

How to Make Hummingbird Food

To make your own hummingbird food, mix 1/2 cup sugar with 2 cups water. Boil it to ensure that the sugar completely dissolves. Place mixture in refrigerator until it cools. It is now ready. Purchasing hummingbird food with added vitamins and minerals may be more appealing as it mixes easily, requiring no boiling and costs very little. I personally see more hummingbird activity when I use the store-bought mixture.

Hummingbird Feeders

Hummingbird feeders come in several varieties. While there are several beautiful glass feeders, I prefer the plastic feeder that adheres to your window with a suction cup, providing endless entertainment upclose. I see hummingbirds daily and it is very enjoyable watching them. Rinse your feeder out once a week and replace mixture to keep it fresh for your hummingbird visitors.

The Beauty of a Hummingbird in Flight

Hummingbirds as Tatoos

Hummingbirds have become a popular theme for tattoos. According to WikiAnswers, hummingbirds "... are considered to be symbols of peace, love and happiness, moreover, ancient pagans held them sacred for their tireless energy and anxiety. In Native American culture, a hummingbird symbolizes timless joy and the Nectar of Life. It's a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible and will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances."
To me they represent an incredibly strong will to live and adapt to every challenge life throws at them despite their circumstances.

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    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks for reading precy anza! Wow, seeing 5 hummingbirds at once is exciting. I get a thrill every time one hovers near me; I try to remain perfectly still so they will stay, but they never do for long. I haven't seen any yet this year, but the feeders are out, and I am looking forward to it. Take care.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      5 years ago from USA

      I love hummingbirds! :) Enjoyed reading your hub and the video ^-^' Last year we had about 5 of them visiting the feeders, and I always enjoyed watching them. I had spent some late afternoon watching a "hummer show." :) So cool to watch their acrobatic show on mid air, better than watching fireworks!

    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks Silva. I agree and can't wait to see them every year when it starts to get warm. They are wonderful to watch.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 

      5 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      Hummingbirds are amazing magical little flying jewels! Thanks for this hub.

    • Admiral_Joraxx profile image

      Admiral_Joraxx 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      Wow!, Hummingbirds are incredible!, Thanks for sharing this. Voted up and awesome!

    • Rosie writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Rosie writes 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks for the comments. The photo is not of me - I wish. I see a lot of hummingbirds and they come very close to me, but I haven't tried that one yet. I was going to include the hummingbird moth in this piece but decided it could use an article of its own - very unique too.

    • profile image

      rorshak sobchak 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful Hub. My mother loves Hummingbirds. She always leaves out the nectar for them. The both of us have just saw a Moth Hummingbird for the first time. It was a really neat looking thing. Great hub.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      6 years ago from Texas

      I wonder why the can only be found in the western hemisphere? Why not in the eastern? I'm glad I live in the western, because I love them too. As I was watching the video you included, I thought to myself, "It's amazing that they can stay in one place midair, as much as they move their wings, you would think that would be impossible."

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Good article well written. I voted up. I also wrote about humming birds, Hummers in My Yard (http://tillsontitan.hubpages.com/hub/Hummers-in-My... However, I've never been as lucky as you to have them come so close to me! That is fantastic!

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