A GLITTERING OF HUMMINGBIRDS

In keeping with my recent theme, the title of this post refers to a grouping of hummingbirds.  Beside being known as a glittering, they are also called a:

  • Bouquet
  • Shimmer
  • Hover
  • Tune

I am not sure why such a tiny bird has so many group descriptions, especially since the humming bird is rather solitary.  In fact when it migrates it can travel alone for up to 500 miles at a time. Here are some other fun facts:

  • Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards
  •  Hummingbirds have no sense of smell, but they do have good color vision.
  • The average weight of a hummingbird is less than that of a nickel.
  • Hummingbirds cannot walk or hop.  They can only perch or move sideways while perched.
  • When  hummingbirds drink nectar their tongues flick  in and out about 13 times per second. They can consume up to double their body weight in a day.
  • There are over 330 species of hummingbirds in North and South America.

The movements of a hummingbird are unique and fascinating – though to see the intricacies you need to see them in slow motion.  Take a look at this fantastic video where’s you will also see some brilliantly colored hummingbirds:

Attention must also be given to their glowing  feathers. Hummingbird feathers come in a wide variety of colors, from dull brown to vibrant green to crimson red, and have multiple tones and an iridescent glow depending on how the sunlight hits them, caused by the feathers’ pigmentation.  It is truly a light show watching these birds fly and change color.

Now to the birds themselves – let me introduce some of my favorites:

  • Chestnut Breasted Coronet – I first came upon these gorgeous  hummingbirds during my trip to Peru.  It was my first time trying to photograph these quick flying birds and my camera wasn’t the best for this task – but I fell in love with them, all the same

 

This is what they look like with a better camera (from the internet):

During my recent trip to Costa Rica I was fortunate to capture a photo of the teeny tiny Violetear.  It’s bright red feet were just adorable:

Also in Costa Rica, the  blue-tailed (I think) and the calliope:

 

 

In Scottsdale Arizona and Beaver Creek Colorado I got a chance to hone my picture taking skills on  broad billed hummingbirds in flight:

 

There are still hundreds and hundreds of hummingbirds to see and if I am lucky, also  photograph.  Ones on my wish list include (all photos from internet):

  • Tufted Coquette – most flamboyant

 

  • Sword Billed- bird that thinks its a fish

 

  • Fire Throated- most vivid

 

And finally:

  • Bee – smallest of the small

 

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5 thoughts on “A GLITTERING OF HUMMINGBIRDS

  1. That’s incredible. I love those photos and you got some great shots yourself. I watched the video and when the mama is feeding her babies with that long bill, and so aggressively, I wondered how the inside of that baby bird survives that. Oh boy, that was crazy!

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