Hummingbirds

Have you ever stopped to marvel at the humble hummingbird?

A hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world. It has a brain weighing in at 4.2% of its total body weight. This is the largest proportion in the bird kingdom and as a result, they are very clever!

This is Sharon.

sharon

Her tiny little heart beats up to 1,260 times per minute to help fuel flight with much needed oxygenated blood. 30% of her weight is flight muscle. The equivalent muscle group in humans would be pectoral muscles. I doubt very much that yours make up 30% of your body weight. Don’t get me wrong, you look really toned; I can tell you work out. But even Arnold Swartzenegger at his peak would struggle to get pecs like that.

Sharon’s body temperature is around 41 degrees Celsius. That’s hot. She obviously likes to feel warm and cosy whilst going about her business. I suppose if anyone had to flap their wings over 70 times per minute they would work up a sweat too!

She can fly both forward and backwards, hover in mid-air, fly sideways and even upside-down at an average of around 30 miles per hour so it’s no wonder she is exhausted by nightfall.

When hummingbirds sleep, they go into a hibernation-like state called torpor. This is to conserve energy. Sharon’s heart rate can drop to as few as 50 beats per minute and her body temperature drops as low as 20 degrees celcius.

Sharon is not a morning person as it can take up to an hour for a hummingbird to fully recover from torpor. If only their little nests were heating with Mitchell and Webber Heating Fuel! Then they wouldn’t need to hibernate night after night. They wouldn’t have to wait a whole hour to recover from their sleep and maybe they wouldn’t need to visit 1000 flowers a day for nectar. They could chillax in the nest, relax in the warm with the family and do whatever off-duty hummingbirds like to do. I’ve heard they are partial to a game of scrabble. Mitchell and Webber salute the hummingbird for all it’s achievements. We only hope they start using their large brains appropriately and start scheduling heating fuel deliveries from us!

News Archive