Hummingbirds are birds that belong to the avian family Trochilidae. These birds are small, usually weighing from between 2 to 20 grams, and boast long, narrow bills and small, saber-like wings. They are able to stroke with power both on the down- and up-beat of a wing flap. They are the only vertebrates capable of sustained hovering (staying in one place during flight), and they can fly backward and upside-down as well. Hummingbirds do not need the help of other hummingbirds to locate food or fend off predators. Other hummingbirds are in fact competitors for the flower nectar upon which they thrive. Most species live in the tropics, and while 17 species regularly nest in the United States, many of these are found close to the Mexican border. (Continue Reading from The Smithsonian National Zoo)
Popular Mechanics: Cool Hummingbird Facts - If you are looking for quick facts about hummingbirds, check here.
San Diego Zoo: Hummingbirds - Learn more about these amazing animals at the San Diego Zoo!
All About Birds - Listen to the calls of various species of hummingbird!
PBS Nature - Read, watch, and learn all about hummingbirds.
Audubon Society: Hummingbird Friendly Yard - Learn what makes a yard an attractive stopping place for hummingbirds
Hummingbirds have fascinated and delighted bird watchers and casual observers for years. As human activity and loss of habitat across the Americas continues, however, it is important to understand these unique animals and try to help them thrive if we are able. The following books and documentary can help you identify and attract hummingbirds, as well as see occasions where they have been featured in folklore by cultures that came into contact with them.