The Magical Hummingbird
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.
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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 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.