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Hummingbirds: Trochilidae

Physical Characteristics

Hummingbirds received their name because of the humming sound their wings make. They have powerful wings and can fly backwards, upside down, and quickly change direction. Hummingbirds hover when feeding, remaining motionless in the air. They feed by dipping their long bills and long, forked tongues into flowers.

Hummingbirds range in size from the bee hummingbird, which is 2.25 inches (5.7 centimeters) long, to the giant hummingbird, which is 8.5 inches (21.6 centimeters) long.

Hummingbirds are sometimes called "flying jewels" because of their colorful plumage, feathers. Some feathers are iridescent, which means the colors appear to change depending on where light shines on the plumage. Males are usually more colorful than females. Plainer coloring helps the female stay hidden from predators that would hunt the female and young.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsHummingbirds: Trochilidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Hairy Hermit (glaucis Hirsuta): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, HUMMINGBIRDS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS