Most people familiar with hummingbirds know, that they are the smallest birds on earth and that their flight is unique in the avian world. One of the most amazing things about these birds is the fact, that by the time we say ONE, they have flapped their wings between 20 and 80 times, thus enabling them, to fly up to 45 feet in one second. However, this ability has a high energetic cost, that imposes a high energy intake on these little creatures. This forces hummingbirds to eat their own weight, every day, in order to survive.
Recording these events is important to study the bird's
behavior, and the use of our flashes and a high speed shutter
allows the photonaturalist to record postures that may be too fast to see with the naked eye.
Pointing your bill, blowing wind and confronting your adversary
stablishes who will remain at the feeder, this is the so called pecking order behavior where dominant birds are the first to eat.
The bird at the feeder maintains its position and turning sideways to feed
may tell its adversary, I am here to stay. This act of self confidence sends a clear mesage to the other hummer. Note how the opposer's bill and flapping wings are directed to the bird at the feeder. Using wing generated wind and sounds may be part of a humming bird's repertoir in agonistic behavior.
It is a known fact that hummingbirds can go into TORPOR or NOCTIVATION at night. This is a lethargic state assumed by the birds at night, where they lower their metabolic rates up to 95% by slowing their heart, lung activity and lowering their body temperature to a pseudo hypothermia state where this activities are hardly percievable by the human eye. The literature cites, that hummers are not sleeping while noctivating, and they will actually go into sleep, once they get out of the lethargic stage by shivering and flapping their wings. Only then they may sleep for a few hours before dawn! Hummers most have a great memory to map in their territory which plants are in bloom, how rich in nectar are their flowers, and how many flower patches are near their resting sites, as this is a mater of life and death.
Hope you enjoy the info and we will be seen you soon.
Leopoldo "Leo" García Berrizbeitia