Инстаграм @andreapicoestrada Andrea Pico Estrada
Slow down!! It’s baby season here in Florida!! Our special new arrivals are called Colts - Sandhill Crane youngsters! These adorable large birds - who might just have inspired big bird from Sesame Street - are goofy, sweet, pure souls. They are warm family units that always warm your heart ❤️ I’ve watched them every year with lots of love and is we continue to expand our cities these sweet birds are finding themselves in difficult situations! On our local news drivers have been asked to exert caution when seeing these families... these wonderful birds have no street sense whatsoever and can often be seen trying to cross major thoroughfares... once all farmland is now sprawling development - let’s be kind to our wildlife and slow down and show them kindness and respect!! 🐥 During migration, 75 percent of the sandhill crane population can be found along a 75-mile stretch of the Platte River in Nebraska. 🐥Sandhill crane offspring can be ready to leave the nest and even start swimming just eight hours after they hatch. Although the chicks are independently mobiles, they will stay with their parents up to 10 months after being born. 🐥A female sandhill crane usually lays two pale-colored eggs with brown markings. She shares incubation duties with her mate for up to 32 days. 🐥Both parents build a nest from cattails, sedges and grasses, but it’s unknown which parent chooses the nesting site. Nests can be up to 40 inches across and 6 inches high. (Read more: Meet the Best Bird Dads Around) 🐥The oldest known sandhill crane fossil was found in the Macasphalt Shell Pit in Florida and is estimated to be 2.5 million years old. 🐥Sandhill cranes mate for life and attract their parents via a courtship dance with moves like jumping into the air, bobbing their heads and stretching their wings to span up to 7 feet. 🐥During migration, these cranes may travel more than 200 miles a day. They’re fast fliers, reaching speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. 🐥Most of their diet (90 percent) is plant material, including waste grain, roots, berries, and nuts. Insects and snails are on the menu, too.
Family Hierarchy! I’ve always loved these elegant birds with their long legs and beautiful black and white feathers... on my birthday I was on a boat and we were able to see them up close! This is a bird that in Florida is very skittish and tends to fly off at the slightest movement! Maybe the birds in Costa Rica are as friendly as the people? Pura Vida!! 🐧 The Black-necked Stilt forages by probing and gleaning mostly in lakeshores, but also in very shallow waters near shores. It seeks out a range of aquatic invertebrates, mainly crustaceans, mollusks, small fish, tadpoles and very rarely plant seeds. 🐧They have a length of 35 – 39 cm and a wingspan of 71 cm. 🐧Their lifespan is approximately 20 years. 🐧The nests are typically sited within one kilometer of a feeding location, and the pairs defend an extensive perimeter around groups of nests, patrolling in cooperation with their neighbors. 🐧The tail is white with some grey banding. A continuous area of black extends from the back along to the head which forms a cap covering the entire head from the top to just below eye-level, with the exception of the areas surrounding the bill and a small white spot above the eye. 🐧The Black-necked Stilt is actually classified as semi-colonial since the nests are rarely found alone and colonies usually number dozens and rarely hundreds of pairs. 🐧They are not in the threatened species list but their numbers are declining because of the destruction or their habitat. 🐧Females lay 3-5 eggs then for 22-26 days both sexes take turns incubating the eggs. 🐧The young are seen swimming within two hours after hatching and are also capable of rapid land velocity. In spite of this early development the young normally return to the nest for resting for one or two more days but remain dependent on their parents for some more weeks. 🐧Males have a greenish gloss to the back and wings, particularly in the breeding season. These guy’s breeding season is after the rainy season. They begin to breed at 1-2 years of age. 🐧Stilts’ legs are longer in proportion to their bodies than any other bird except the Flamingo
The Feather Dance! 💃🏼 Florida reminds me that beauty can be found even in our most common sights - these wonderful Ibis that adopted 22 orphans last year (thank you foster parents) are our Flocking birds and in their stunning red makeup they present themselves for the Spring Dance Season like a group of Southern Debutantes in their frilly white dresses... there is always something around to fall in love with and beauty is one of those ... 🐦 First breeds at age of 2 years. Breeds in colonies, sometimes mixed with other wading birds. Displays of male include ritualized preening, leaning over and grasping twig in bill, pointing bill skyward and lowering head onto back. Nest sites in mangroves, trees, thickets, usually 2-15' above ground or water, sometimes higher or on ground. Nest built by both sexes, male bringing most material, female doing most of building. Material often stolen from nests of other pairs. Nest is usually platform of sticks, sometimes of cordgrass or reeds. 🐦 During the breeding season, the American white ibis gathers in huge colonies near water. Pairs are predominantly monogamous and both parents care for the young, although males tend to engage in extra-pair copulation with other females to increase their reproductive success. 🐦 White Ibis adults have white plumage and pink facial bare skin. ... In breeding plumage, facial skin, bill and legs become scarlet.
Loses and Rebuilding.... this Saltator for some reason symbolizes to me all the beautiful Lifer birds I saw on my trip to Brazil where they hopped around me with great curiosity, who now live as part of a memory ... I know many of us are thinking about how to rebuild after loss. At some point in our lives we often find that in a personal way we experience loses. At first we think about hopelessness but as it has often been said - hope is the last thing we have left when we hit bottom. I’m using the bird picture analogy because this is what my Instagram is about... I lost all of my photography from 2018 plus my trip pictures after dropping a hard drive - it took me a while to put that behind me and pick up the camera and start over... my friends in Costa Rica with their words of wisdom said this latest trip was my opportunity to start over again... Birds flew into my viewfinder and with each new hello I recovered bird by bird one at a time. Birds play a big part in my life - they are my inspiration - I’m sure each one of us have stories of lifting ourselves back up again - that is where my thoughts are today - we all rebuild and the Phoenix rises out of the ashes and I believe our hope arrives on wings and lifts us up! 🐤 The Buff-throated Saltator is the English name for the neotropical bird Saltator maximus. The Buff-throated Saltator has a stout, finch-like bill, and traditionally was classified with the cardinals and grosbeaks, Cardinalidae. Recent research reveals that saltators are embedded within the tanager radiation (Thraupidae). Saltators are generally arboreal birds with subdued color patterns and coloration, but usually have a bold superciliary. The Buff-throated Saltator is one of the more widespread members of the genus, and occurs from southern Mexico south to northern Bolivia and southeastern Brazil.
Ushering the new as our winter visitors start to leave... with the sunny skies and flowers of Spring our beacons of the arrival of Fall begin to leave us here in Florida! When the weather holds a slight chill in the air and our summers start to fade a stirring sight high above keeps us entranced most of our winter! We watch our Eagles, come home, clean up their nests and bring in fresh twigs and Spanish moss. Most return to to their old nests, some find them gone and rebuild - they never hesitate and get to work right away. Rebuilding and renewing seems to be their strengths - I can see why in ancient legends they were always held in the highest esteem. Messengers of God, or to Native Americans symbols of vision, wisdom and strength. Even Zeus Would often change into the form of an eagle in order to control the thunder and lightning. When you see your first Eagle - as I did ten years ago - you can’t take your eyes off of them! Their Official season in Florida begins October 1 and ends May 1, as you can see we are in our final weeks of having this beautiful companions but our skies with dreams of hope and wisdom…
Spring Fever! Have you noticed how contagious it is!? Everyone is thinking blooms, buds, flowers, plants birds... For me Spring has always been the best time of the year - my March birthday followed by my two daughters being born in April - a forsythia was the first bloom up north when they arrived! I was nesting just like the birds in the month of April, preparing a frilly basinette for their arrival! Yesterday we went plant shopping and added color to the garden and watched as all the Cardinals on the Street seemed to be chattering about the new feeder on the block!! Spring is a time full of hope, new beginnings, new life all around - the fresh green leaves and the first blooms of flowers - all indicate that this is our next chapter - let’s be in the moment to enjoy it! #embracespring2019 🐤Black and Yellow Silky Flycatcher - another Lifer Bird for me 🐤 The sole member of the genus Phainoptila is almost endemic to Costa Rica, although the Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher also ranges into western Panama. Males are largely black above, on the tail, and over the head and throat, with yellow underparts, whereas females are rather less strikingly patterned, being principally dark green above and over the head and breast. This species inhabits evergreen montane forests, at elevations between 1000 and 3400 m, and is primarily frugivorous. Three subspecies are recognized, and these differ principally in size and in female plumage. Some authorities have speculated as to whether the Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher truly belongs in the Ptilogonatidae, rather than the Turdidae.🐤 They mostly feed on berries, any small insects, fruits and vegetables. Like the other members of its family, they have a specialized mechanism in their gizzard that shucks berry skins off the fruit and packs the skins separately from the rest of the fruit into the intestines for more efficient digestion. No other bird family is known to be able to do that.🐤 Like the other members of its Phainopeplas family, these birds can imitate the calls of twelve other species, including the calls of the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo lineatus), and the Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus).
Jewels.... this year I found myself considering what was important to me... I had a collection of gold and gems 💎 that I never used - they weren’t alive, they didn’t shine, they didn’t make my eyes twinkle... I decided to sell them all for something that I needed more and I felt great about it! My true gems 💎 are all around me in every glittering feather in every tilt of the head and of course in all the stunning Hummingbirds I saw in Costa Rica! I’m still finding new pictures in my treasure hunt - like this emerald gem called a Green-Crowned Brilliant Hummingbird... I’ve never had several days to just watch several hummingbird species and I found myself captivated by their unique glimmering feathers, intense eyes and of course the fairy wings as they fly all around you.... I would gladly trade in jewels for these true jewels of nature and today I feel especially grateful for the grace and gratitude they brought into my life.... 💎 The green-crowned brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula) is a large, robust hummingbird that is a resident breeder in the highlands from Costa Rica to western Ecuador. It is also known as the green-fronted brilliant 💎 This hummingbird inhabits wet mountain forests including edges, gaps and tall second growth. It occurs typically between 700 and 2,000 m (2,300 and 6,600 ft) in altitude, mainly on the Caribbean slopes. 💎The nest is a bulky cup of plant fibres and scales of tree ferns saddled on a thin downsloping branch. 💎 This hummingbird feeds at the large inflorescences of Marcgravia vines, which the male will sometimes defend. It will also feed at Heliconia and other large flowers. Unlike many hummingbirds, the green-crowned brilliant almost always perches to feed.
Long John Silver the Old Salty man of the Sea 🌊 well - Lake Tarpon! He’s been a long time favorite and guardian of our small water frontage... when I first met this wonderful alligator around five years ago he had all his limbs - sadly over time and battles at “sea” he lost a leg, an arm and an eye and this became my favorite pirate... my long summer days sitting in grass along the lake - I can make up stories of his long reptilian life and adventures he has lived over the years... today he either showed me some dominance or love with one single bellow at the edge of the lake ... it was a front row seat to a combination of nature, magic and science that I can share with all of you! Thank you @gabbynikolle for watching with me and giving advice and feedback 🐊 Some species of alligators are capable of communicating even before birth -- think the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), to be specific. These reptiles are the most "talkative" crocodilian species, and begin producing high "complaining" noises while living within the egg 🐊Bellowing is a common sound in the alligator world, and is prevalent in both Chinese and American alligators -- the only types of alligators that still exist. These husky, guttural and very intense sounds are often used as a means of expressing a specific locale. If an alligator wants another to find him, he may just opt to bellow. Alligators "roar" by blowing air out from the lungs. The sound is so vociferous that it can be detected from distances as remote as 165 yards 🐊Mating Sounds: When alligators are in the midst of trying to attract mates for breeding, they sometimes produce purring sounds that are reminiscent of coughs. These sounds communicate, quite clearly, the intention to reproduce, and are referred to as "chumpfs." Male alligators often give off infrasonic vibrating sounds while on the water -- all in attempts to draw in female attention. These sounds, within infrasound, often are lower than 20 hertz. Female alligators, on the other hand, often press their bodies against the males to indicate availability
The Passenger Pigeon flew in with news..... on a winner!!! Oh wait, that’s not a Passenger Pigeon but a beautiful Pale Vented*** Pigeon from Costa Rica!! On the bright side we have a winner of @georgeboorujy beautiful signed print and it goes to @laurel_roth_hope Congratulations!!! Back to the conversation on Conservation (swipe to see George’s Passenger Pigeon)... The story of the Passenger is a true canary in a coal mine warning to all of us on how we can lose a species in the span of 50 years... 🐦 As extinctions go, the extinction of the passenger pigeon is truly a stupendous human achievement, unparalleled in recorded history: thanks to our penchant for relentless killing combined with large-scale habitat destruction, these iconic birds’ population crashed from billions to zero in just fifty years. But how could these birds decline so rapidly? Surely, people did not murder every last one of them, did they? Shouldn’t mind-bogglingly huge and wide-spread populations protect a species from extinction? Why didn’t some pigeons survive in remote areas?(Forbes)🐦 many scientists have estimated that passenger pigeons were, arguably, the most populous bird species on the planet, ever. 🐦 The researchers’ analysis suggested that passenger pigeons’ numbers had either exploded recently (similar to the current human population explosion), or their population fluctuated naturally by a thousand-fold or more within short time periods 🐦 the passenger pigeon was an “outbreak species” and that their periodic population crashes created genetic bottlenecks that reduced genetic diversity from expected levels. They also proposed that the passenger pigeon’s population was already in a natural decline when European immigrants and colonists came along and pushed them over the edge into extinction. ***species correction
Who doesn’t love Pelicans and Florida? What a beautiful State we live in with some of the most amazing coastline in the U.S. As many of you know I began a different life when I moved to Florida almost 10 years ago and fell in love with the birds and the nature all around me... I remember asking when I would figure out what I was going to do with my life? Floridians answer was that I was on Florida time, time move slower and there was no need to make any decisions quickly. I may have taken this too literally in that I am stuck pondering what I want to do in the state of Florida. One thing for certain, I’d like to point out the things that are good and special about living here! Today is a perfect example of a typical day in my life – wake up, compose an Instagram post, head out as quickly as I can to visit my usual suspects – and find myself spending over three hours just watching Long John Silver! A quick break for lunch and then back out again, searching for the missing Quetzal earring in the park. Which turned into yet another afternoon of photography and sundry other things that kept me outdoors. Florida Fridays me no television, no staying inside, enjoying the beauty of a blue sky and amazing palm trees above my head. I know I get backlogged replying to all of your wonderful comments – but believe me even with my limited signal at the lake I often read what you have to say and I am inspired to keep going on this endless journey where I still haven’t decided where it’s taking me, or maybe the journey hasn’t decided where it’s taking me? TGIF #pelicanfriday
Happy Florida Fish Fry Friday!! Back in Florida I waited all week for a FFF photograph and visited my usual suspects (Here is Mr Blue) up to three times a day. Last week we had 88F almost a record - temperatures not seen since 1947. It’s a hot Spring much more like summer here! I already hear the buzzing of insects and the local alligators and snakes have all been busy as well. Tiny songbirds and Migratory birds are in the trees feeding, some nesting (posted my tiny friends in story) The shore birds look as if they are in the midst of a Spring Break party chattering away as I sat with them last night watching the sun go down. Everyone was so busy that it took a week to get this picture yesterday during my late afternoon walk - I sat on the boardwalk watching Mr Blue as still as a statue deep in the lake Reeds - he’s a patient bird so I had to be patient too... what a prize - I’ll put some additional angles in story but this was his catch of the month! Fish Fry Friday’s began over three years ago - my thoughts were that photography should include an aspect of behavior and habitat to tell the full story. Without those components your photograph has no context - where and why? I always shoot video of the location and make note of the weather and any other factors that can add to the story. I certainly enjoy taking the photographs but just as much I enjoy telling the whole story! We live in a time where seeing the big picture is so important - I hope that I’ve contributed even in a small way. Today is the last day to win a signed print by the renowned New York @georgeboorujy - his work is perfection with a profound message!!! Check him out and drop him a line :) TGIF my friends!
Things of Beauty! Why we need them in our lives. I’ve always loved art and grew up going to museums - when I moved to Florida art was in nature not in buildings... “ your Birding experience has become part of your life, part of who you are. And because birders are human these Birding memories- like most human memories – improve over time the colors of the plumages become more saturated, the songs sweeter, and those elusive field marks more vivid and distinct in retrospect. Most of all Birding creates a desire to see the new Birds” “It is about accumulating knowledge about the natural world through your own personal experience. That’s why to a Birder it always matters whether or not you’ve actually seen the bird in real life or just on the page” (the Evolution of Beauty) 💙 A uniquely-patterned, medium-sized hummingbird, the adult male White-necked Jacobin has a blue head and chest, a sharply contrasting white nape, a green back and blackish wings. The White-necked Jacobin can be found in a variety of habitats from humid forest canopies, to tall second growth forests, and even in coffee and cacao plantations. 💙White-necked Jacobin can be found within its broad range feeding on nectar and small arthropods; occasionally, many will concentrate at flowering trees where they are aggressive and even territorial to one another. 💙Although uncommon throughout most of its large range, the White-necked Jacobin's population is believed to be stable, and consequently has not been placed on any threatened species lists.
I remember catching a glimpse of this bird at our breakfast stop and thinking he was one of the most beautiful birds I had ever seen - I looked at my terrible quick shot and hoped we would meet again! This Silver Throated Tanager was one of my favorites - I loved the black delineation around his white areas and the pop of yellow - stunning! When I showed people my pictures here in Florida the most common comment was based on how colorful the birds of the tropics are... today we can talk about that supposition and how it came to be.... 🐤 Parrots, macaws, parakeets… these rainbowed tropical birds put to shame the brown and gray birds that are so common in our northern at and . Even Chicago's brightest birds—cardinals, blue jays, gold finches—are vibrant, but single-colored. Why are bright and multi-colored birds so common in tropical rain forests, and nowhere to be found in temperate climates? Do the changing seasons make bright birds sitting ducks in the winter? Do jungle birds eat bright berries and fruits instead of brown and black seeds? What gives? 🐤We can eliminate one option right away: a parrot's color has nothing to do with its diet. While a flamingo gets its pink color from the food it eats (brine shrimp and blue-green algae) and a cardinal is red in part because of the seeds in its diet, a parrot's color is determined by its genes.The incredible colors of the blue-and-yellow macaw do not come from tropical mangoes and imported blueberries. 🐤It must be some other quality of the tropics that creates brighter birds: is it the rainfall? The year-round high temperatures? 🐤The truth is that tropical birds don't tend to be more colorful. 🐤 In other words, the tropics are much more diverse in general than temperate or dry climates. The rainfall and year-round high temperatures contribute to rainforests having many more animal and plant species than other places. Of these many more animal species, some are brightly colored birds, but there are even more species that are plainly colored.
Aggression... A driving force for survival... however who on the planet is the most aggressive of all? Not the hummingbirds - US! “96% of the mass of mammals on our planet today, tigers to bats, from elephants to badgers, are us, and the livestock that we domesticated. Only 4% is everything else. 70% of all birds are now domestic poultry, mostly chickens.” Attenborough We must remember that although we all have the drive to survive, we as humans claim to be the most intelligent beings - let us fix this situation before it is too late... 🧚♀️ Hummingbirds are very territorial, especially the males. The male hummingbird is not only protective of his lady friends, but also with his food. To understand this aggressive behavior we must know that hummers mean business when it comes to finding food. Another personality trait of hummingbirds that ties in with their aggression is their curious nature; this trait makes all types of feeders appealing to them. So, where there is food they will find it. 🧚♀️When a hummer spots a food source they will dive right in to stake their claim. However, if an intruder comes along they are more than prepared to defend what they define as their territory. They will attack not only their own kind, but bees, butterflies, and sphinx moths as well. Believe it or not, the hummingbird will sometimes linger around the same feeder an entire day in order to guard his food and prevent any intruders from sneaking by. 🧚♀️So, you may be wondering why hummingbirds have such a high level of aggression. As we all know food = energy and energy = life! For migration purposes the hummers must be prepared by fueling up their energy levels before taking off on their long journey. What’s more, after a long journey they must replenish the energy that’s been used. So you see the importance of hanging your feeder each season and making sure your feeder is filled with plenty of energy-charged nectar.
Even my garden has a touch of magic - probably having an organic garden helps - lovely sights like these are always possible! One of my favorite garden species... The Ringneck snake 🐍 one of my first reptile finds in Florida over 9 years ago as well! 🐍 The Southern Ringneck Snake is a terrestrial burrower, frequently found in or underneath logs or other debris. It feeds on small earthworms, slugs, frogs, anoles, geckos, skinks, snakes, and salamanders. 🐍It lays eggs. During the summer usually 2-8 whitish eggs are laid in moist areas such as underneath or inside rotting logs. Sometimes a communal nest site may be used by several different females. Newborns are 3-4 inches (7.6-10 cm). 🐍Ringneck Snakes are the most frequently found snakes in Florida swimming pools — they crawl in to get a drink and then cannot climb out because they are too small to reach the lip of the pool. If you find one in your pool, lift it out with the leaf skimmer or a dipnet and turn it loose in the shrubs where it can get back to eating things you do not want in your garden. 🐍 Ring-necked snakes are secretive, nocturnal snakes, so are rarely seen during the day time.
Missed Opportunities and Second Chances! I must say that bird photography is the perfect example of “second chances”! I never get upset about missing a shot - I’ve always felt I could do better at another point in time... Costa Rica 2.0 was exactly this kind of opportunity for me. On my first trip there I had a lot of rain and traveled with my son enjoying the Monkeys and Sloths and birds despite the downpours... During one such wet and rainy walk I spotted this beautiful elusive rail who ran and hid behind every tree and Bush making a clear shot virtually impossible! Then came my moment of redemption of the Rail with my recent return to CR - not only did this gorgeous bird strike some beautiful poses for me but it even felt comfortable enough to take a very happy bath and flap its wings... almost as if the message was to let the water roll off of your back - don’t hold on to things you have missed there is always a next time! More pictures in story!!! 🐤 Russet-naped Wood-Rail is one of the northernmost species of Aramides, occurring from northeastern Mexico south to northern Costa Rica. This species primarily occupies swampy forest and forest edge, and the margins of forest streams. These wood-rails usually remain under vegetative cover or in thickets, but sometimes venture out in the open. The diet is mixed, including invertebrates, small vertebrates such as frogs, and seeds, berries, and palm fruits. The nest is a platform of twigs and grasses, placed in a bush or tree, up to 3 m above the ground, and often above water. Russet-naped Wood-Rail and Gray-cowled Wood-Rail (Aramides cajaneus) formerly were considered to be a single species, Gray-necked Wood-Rail. They differ in several ways, however, including in plumage (the rufous nape is reduced or absent on Gray-cowled Wood-Rail) and in vocalizations. The two species also replace each other very abruptly in Costa Rica, with Russet-naped Wood-Rail in northeastern Costa Rica, and Gray-cowled Wood-Rail from southwestern Costa Rica south to Argentina.
Biodiversity - I witnessed the significance of this word during my recent trip to Costa Rica. In stark contrast to our unstoppable urbanization and loss of habitat for so many of our species here where I live; precious ecosystems such as the Everglades, scrub habitat, Piney Flatwoods and so many other fragile homes for our local species. I find myself more often speaking with our local rangers about our declines and the struggle to keep the little ground that we have left. During my trip I saw so much beauty in so many different places... at night deep in the rain forest watching tiny rain frogs reproducing, or up in the highlands of the country watching the Resplendent Quetzal preparing their nest, or the Manaquin clearing a spot in the forest for his mating dance , a Tapir gently walking down the forest slowly, tiny hummingbirds circled above me weaving a suspended crown of glittering feathers. Each animal seemed to be speaking to me - listen to us, protect us, speak for us… 🌳 In Costa Rica, more than half a million species live, representing 4% of the species that exist in the world. Out of this, a little more than 70% are insects. That is to say, in our country, nearly 360,000 different species of insects live together with the human species. After insects, the most numerous groups are fungi, bacteria, and invertebrates such as spiders, crustaceans (shrimps, lobsters, and crabs), among others 🌳The most known groups in the country are plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and fish). In these groups, about 83% of the species have been described. Terrestrial species are better known than marine species. Costa Rica is 10 times larger in its marine territory because we have large sea areas on both coasts. However, we only know a small percentage of the biodiversity that exists there. Our seas keep natural riches that we have not yet completely discovered. According to the National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio), Costa Rica registers about 95,000 of described marine species, approximately 4.7% of the known species worldwide. 🌳 considered among the 20 richest countries in biodiversity all around the world
Happy Saturday my Friends - here I am dreaming of my fairy 🧚♀️ friends in Costa Rica and reading about what makes them all so very special - here is a Crowned Woodnymph Female - isn’t she beautiful? 🧚♀️ 1. Hummingbirds can’t walk or hop, they only use their feet to scoot sideways when they’re perched. They have evolved smaller feet so they’re lighter when flying. 🧚♀️They have a bright color on their throat that’s caused by iridescence in the arrangement of the feathers. The light level, moisture, angle of viewing, wear and tear and other facts all influence how bright and colorful their throats may appear. 🧚♀️Hummingbirds have 1,000 to 1,500 feathers, which is the fewest number of feathers of any other bird. Their low number of feathers makes them more lightweight, enabling them fly faster and further. 🧚♀️The calliope hummingbird is the smallest bird species in North America. It’s just 3 inches long. 🧚♀️The bee hummingbird is the smallest hummingbird species in the world and is only 2.25 inches long. It can only be found in Cuba. 🧚♀️The average ruby-throated hummingbird weighs about 3 grams. A nickel weighs 4.5 grams, which means that a nickel weighs more than this species of hummingbird. 🧚♀️About 25% to 30% of a hummingbird’s weight is in ts pectoral muscles. 🧚♀️Their maximum flight speed is about 30 miles per hour, however, they can reach about 60 miles per hour in a dive. 🧚♀️They have the smallest eggs out of all birds. Their eggs are about half an inch long but they represent about 10% of the mother’s weight at the time they’re laid. 🧚♀️Hummingbirds must consume about half of its weight in sugar daily. They eat about 5 to 8 times per hour and their diet consists of nectar, insects, spiders, and treep sap. 🧚♀️Their wings beat about 50 to 200 times per second. However, the amount of beats varies on the direction of the flight, the purpose of their flight and the surrounding air conditions. 🧚♀️On average, their heart beats 1,200 times per minute. In comparison, a human’s heart beats between 60 and 100 times per minute at rest. 🧚♀️ 95% of all hummingbird species live to the south of the United States.