In detail

The hummingbird - profile


Surname: Hummingbird
Latin name: Trochilidae
class: Birds
size: 10 - 20cm
mass: 10 - 30g
Older: 2 - 6 years
Appearance: colorful plumage
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: Nectareater (nectarivor) / Insectivore (insectivore)
food: Nectar, insects
distribution: North America, Central America, South America
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Semi-deserts, rainforest, deciduous forests
natural enemies: Birds of prey, snakes
sexual maturityafter about 12 months
mating season: January - March
breeding season: about 15 days
clutch size: 2 eggs
social behavior: ?
Threatened with extinction: Different depending on the type
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the hummingbird

  • The wings of the hummingbirds beat 60 times a second.
  • In the bird kingdom, the hummingbirds are considered the most skilful flyers of all. With their technology they are able to fly in any direction or to circle like a helicopter on the spot. In addition, hummingbirds are the only birds with the ability to fly backwards.
  • The smaller the hummingbird, the faster it can beat its wings. The fastest hummingbird reaches beat frequencies of more than 100 beats per minute.
  • In English, the hummingbird is called "Hummingbird" because of its noises. Humming means buzzing.
  • Measured by their fast metabolism (500 beats per minute), hummingbirds have a tremendous life expectancy.
  • About 350 different hummingbird species live in the Americas. Each species specializes in other flowers, so that the competitive pressure of coexisting species remains low.
  • The beak of some hummingbirds has a length of more than 10cm (for example, a sword-billed hummingbird). This beak is almost as long as the hummingbird itself.
  • Mostly, a hummingbird covers its nutritional needs via the flower nectar (rich in carbohydrates). To a small extent, its food also consists of insects to meet the protein requirements.
  • Hummingbirds build their nests in inadequate locations, e.g. on tall trees or in thorny bushes. In this way, the eggs are largely safe from nests.