When we were in the cloud forest, we spent a lot of time watching, photographing, and learning about hummingbirds.
We learned a lot of pretty interesting facts about hummingbirds:
Their feathers don’t actually have pigment in them. The colors you see are based on refraction of light and can change depending on the angle of the sun.
Males are the most colorful as they need to attract females. Females tend to be more plain, as they do all of the child-rearing and it helps them blend into their surroundings.
The Spanish word for hummingbird is colibri
Hummingbirds don’t sleep. When it gets dark, they find a safe spot and go into a hibernative sort of state. Their heart rate drops from ~1,000 beats per minute down to just over 100 beats per minute.
There are 132 different species of hummingbirds in Ecuador.
The hummingbirds in Ecuador do not migrate due to the stable climate with similar temperatures year round.
Hummingbirds are very territorial.
Feeding hummingbirds at a feeder doesn’t destroy their natural instincts to feed at flowers. Flowers still provide them with necessary minerals that the feeder syrup does not, so all hummingbirds still feed at flowers sometimes. There are some species of hummingbirds that will not feed at a feeder and get all of their food directly from flowers.
Hummingbirds fly at an average of 25 mph and can do a fast dive at up to 60mph.
Their wings beat at a rate of up to 70 times per second and can beat up to 200 times per second during a high speed dive.
If you wear a bright pink scarf, you will get buzzed repeatedly by hummingbirds who are trying to figure you out. They are very curious birds & not at all shy.
It is very challenging to capture a good, focused, photo of a hummingbird because they are so fast and always on the move. But we took all of these photos with our point and shoot cameras. Most of these pics are straight out of the camera or have minimal editing.