The smallest bird in the world, the hummingbird, looks very fragile, so we wonder how they survive the winter.
According to what biologists noticed, it seems that these “precious” birds are as strong as “diamonds”.
When the weather is cold, hummingbirds enter the “mode for energy storage, called stiffness or rigidity,” says Adam Hadley ecologist from Oregon. These birds that remain north in winter, and live with night mini hibernation have a normal body temperature of 42 degrees, which can drop to 9 degrees.
Hummingbirds’ heart rate is slow as well, during hibernation. The heart-beat ranges from 1260 beats per minute.
Hummingbirds can feed in cold weather even at -3 degrees Celsius.
“These little miracles are also moving farther north. They were in places in Vancouver, Canada where temperatures are milder”, said Hadley.
The smallest bird in the world Mellisuga helenae, is the size of a tennis ball. Long 5-6 cm. and weighs 1 to 2 grams. They have quite a fast metabolism, the fastest after the insects and therefore they have to eat very often.
The hummingbird during one day passes about 2,000 flowers, and can pollinate flowers in 27 minutes. It rarely feeds on insects and spiders.
“Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards thanks to the flight mechanism which is not simple at all.” Says Hadley.
About 30 percent of their body mass are pectoral muscles.
Hummingbirds are truly fascinating creatures. Although valid for birds that live in warmer parts, the fact that they survive in harsher conditions once again proves the power of adaptation to nature.