Hummingbird is a small species of bird which belongs to the family Trochilidae. Hummingbird has about 360 species with two subfamilies, subfamily Trochilinae and subfamily Phaethornithinae or the hermit ones. The existence of hermit hummingbird species is making one wonder where do hummingbirds sleep.
Humming bird is a small bird with the length only measuring in about 7.5 to 13 centimeters. The weight of a hummingbird is only about 4 grams. The smallest hummingbird alive found by the scientists only measuring about 5 centimeters and the weight is even less that two grams.
Hummingbird is named as such due to the humming noises they produce while flying. They are able to fly in quite high speed for such a small sized bird. The speed of their flight is about 15 meter per second. Some species can even reach 22 meter per second.
Their humming noises come from the flapping of their wings. When they are in flight, hummingbird can flap their wings in the rates of 12 beats to 80 beats per second. This motion of their wings create a humming noises that can be heard from human ears. This noises inspires the name hummingbird for this species.
Unlike any other bird species, hummingbirds female normally have bigger physical size than the male hummingbirds. However, male hummingbirds tend to have more vibrant colors than the female hummingbirds. During the courting, female hummingbirds is leaning to choose to mate with smaller males.
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Hummingbird is such a small, unique, and beautiful bird. They have distinct characteristics that make the species different from similar species of small birds. Hummingbirds have great features regarding their vision, metabolism, heat dissipation, kidney function, flight stability, sleep pattern, and lifespan.
Hummingbirds have an excellent and increased vision. They are able to detect vision from the smallest stimuli. This is due to their enhanced development of retinal neurons that allow them to have exceptional vision sensors. Their sensitivity is beneficial for controlling the speed of the flight.
Hummingbirds is the species of birds with the highest metabolism rate. This come naturally to this species as a result of their high speed of flight. Hummingbird heart rate is measuring more than 1200 beats per minute. Their oxygen intake is also recorded very high as means to support their high movement.
Their high metabolism also take part in their processing of sugar intake. They can process and ingest sugar for lower than one hour after consuming them and turn it into energy. Some scientist call this process as direct oxidation of their sugar intake into energy for flying and hunting of food.
Hummingbirds can fly fast and far especially during the migration period. Hummingbirds are also known to migrate within night times as well. Their high rate metabolism allow them to store as much energy and fat in their body for fuel during their long distance flight.
This bird species is also able dissipate body heat during the condition of hot and humid temperature during the hotter seasons. Their body is making use of evaporation within the air they exhaled through their lungs. The evaporations also comes through other parts of the body such as under the wings, eyes, and feet.
Their kidney function enable them to store water overnight. Hummingbirds depends highly on nectars which is consisting of high electrolytes level that the body need to opt out. Their kidney function have a special way to balance the electrolytes in their body.
Hummingbird is a small bird species, however it is a very excellent flyer. This bird species can fly in long distance with great speed. Hummingbird have excellent visual system that allow them to have stability while flying. Their physiological advantage also support them against air turbulence during flight.
Hummingbird is also able to do vocal learning. This unique ability is so rare among the bird species. Scientists have found only hummingbirds, parrots, and few songbird species that have the ability of vocal learning out of all the bird species in the world.
One of the bird species called blue-throated hummingbird can also produce small sounds that are under the suspicion to be able to weaken its prey. The hummingbird species is seen to catch its prey, which are small insects, while producing the sounds.
Hummingbird has two subfamilies, one of them is called hermit hummingbirds. If you wonder where do hummingbirds sleep, the answer is the sleep on a designated place at night and using the torpor mechanism. Torpor is a condition where hummingbirds lower their energy into hibernation-like sleep.
Hummingbirds have a quite long lifespan for a small species of bird. Due to their unique characteristics and high metabolism, hummingbirds are able to survive for about 3 to 5 years. Small species of birds usually live for less than two years of age.
Currently there are about 360 species of hummingbirds alive. This list of species is also divided into two subfamilies. The first subfamily is Trochilinae which is well-known as the regular hummingbirds. The second subfamily is subfamily Phaethomithinae or the hermit hummingbirds.
The hermit hummingbirds consists of the first 37 species of hummingbirds. Some of the species are saw billed hermit, white tipped sicklebill, buff tailed sicklebill, bronzy hermit, sooty barbthroat, pale tailed barbthroat, green hermit, and planalto hermit.
There are several species in group mangoes, some of which are green fronted lancebill, blue fronted lancebill, and tooth billed hummingbird. There are several species in group emeralds, some of which are napo sabrewing, swallow tailed hummingbird, somber hummingbird and emerald chinned hummingbird.
The species in the coquettes group are tufted coquette, frilled coquette, spangled coquette, festive coquette, and peacock coquette. Some of species in the group mountaingems are fiery throated hummingbird, grey tailed mountaingem, and also the green breasted mountaingem.
The last two groups are brilliants and bees. Some of the species in the brilliants group are glowing puffleg, black thighed puffleg, hoary puffleg, and white botted racket tail. On the bees group, there are bee hummingbird, vervain hummingbird, beautiful sheartail, Chilean woodstar, and calliope hummingbird.
Out of all these species of hummingbirds, one may wonder how do they live, what do they eat, and where do hummingbirds sleep. The previous section has mentioned a mechanism called torpor. In the following discussion, how and where do hummingbirds sleep will explained in further details.
Hummingbird and Sleeping
Hummingbirds are active little birds during daytime. They need a lot of energy for their flight and hunting for food. Hummingbirds also constantly producing humming noises due to the frequent flapping of their wings. Hummingbirds also eat often. They are consuming food multiple times an hour.
One may wonder where do hummingbirds sleep during nighttime. For these moments, hummingbirds really in need of a good night of sleeping. Their activities during the day are not allowing to take a slumber during the day.
Hummingbirds are starting to prepare to sleep about a few moments before the sky turn dark and nighttime is approaching. They will find a sheltered place to sleep at night and prepare to enter the state of torpor. Due to this system, hummingbirds are also able to survive cold winter nights despite their small size.
1. The State of Torpor
Hummingbirds start to prepare their sleeping state a few moments before the sun set and the night time comes. They will enter the special state of torpor. Torpor is the state almost similar of hibernation. In this state they will use as little energy as possible while getting a night full of rest.
Hummingbirds run on very high metabolism during the day. The state of torpor is where their metabolism is slowing down right before they enter a deep slumber during the nights. A safe and sheltered place is where do hummingbirds sleep at the night time and enter their torpor state.
During the state of torpor several things happen to the sleeping hummingbirds. First, their body temperature drops very low. They will not need much body heat while they are on their torpor state. The energy they use to keep their body heat running will be saved.
Second, their heart beats will slow down to just 50 beats per minute. Normally, this active bird has more than 1000 heart beats per minute to keep them going. Third, their high metabolism rate will also slow down during torpor state. It will be down to just one fifteenth than its normal condition during daytime.
All the changes of the hummingbird body during their torpor state will drop their energy level in a significant way. This will allow them to save more or less 60 percent of their energy. Torpor also allows them reduce their own temperature. This way they can survive extreme drop of temperature during the night time.
2. Surviving Cold Winter Nights
Hummingbirds are small birds. However, they are able to survive extreme temperature including cold winter nights. This is due to their high daily consumption of the nectars. The nectars are the most contributing factor of the bird’s very high metabolism.
Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism rate among another bird species. This high metabolism rate allows them to produce body heats necessary to survive cold winter nights. One may also think where do hummingbirds sleep during these winter nights.
Hummingbirds are sometimes left behind by their colonies and are forced to spend the cold winter individually. In this case the bird will choose a tree branch they believe will be safe to shelter at nights and then prepare to enter their deep torpor during the nights.
As they wake up, the hummingbirds will start feeding themselves to replenish the energy they spend to survive the cold nights. Hummingbirds will take about a quarter of their daily intake of food as they wake up and recover from their deep and near hibernation state.
3. Where do Hummingbirds Sleep
Hummingbirds are small birds and one may wonder where do hummingbirds sleep at night. These birds will find a safe and sheltered place for themselves. Then they will enter the state of deep sleep with very low energy or also known as the state of torpor.
In order to answer where do hummingbirds sleep, they usually sleep on tree or woods branches or on a nest. The female will sleep on the nest with the baby birds if they are nesting. They also usually sleep upside down and not move at all. This means that the hummingbirds are on their state of torpor.
4. Waking Up from Torpor
Torpor is a condition where hummingbirds fall into near hibernation state. A quiet and sheltered places are where do hummingbirds sleep during the nights and enter this state. They need preparation in entering the state of torpor. Waking up from the state of torpor also needs a couple of steps.
First, it will take the hummingbirds a range of 20 minutes to 60 minutes to wake up from their night’s sleep. They will sound a little bit like snoring as they wake up and have a deep intake of oxygen. As they have an oxygen intake, they will increase their heartbeat to return to normal state during the day.
Second, as the hummingbirds heart beats and oxygen take is returning to normal, they will appear to shiver a lot more than during the night. This will help them to adjust as their metabolism and blood flow return to the high level as normal. The last thing in the process, they will feed themselves to prepare some energy.
Those are the 3 explanations of where do hummingbirds sleep at nights. First, they will find a tree branch to shelter themselves during the night time. They usually sleep by hanging upside down. Female birds will also sleep on the nests if they are nesting.
Second, the hummingbirds will enter a state of torpor during which they lower their energy by one fifteenth compared to day time. Thirds, as soon as they wake, they will replace their energy by feeding.
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