Bird Families

Spark-Tailed Hummingbird / Tilmatura dupontii


Colibri (Trochilidae (Vigors, 1825)) is a family of small birds, the only one in the order of hummingbirds (Latin Trochiliformes). More than 300 species are known. Come from America (from South Alaska and Labrador to Tierra del Fuego). The only bird in the world that can fly backwards.

This order includes small birds, the size of which ranges from bumblebee to swallow. This includes the smallest birds on Earth (5.7 cm in size and 1.6 g in weight). At the same time, there are hummingbirds of larger sizes (length up to 21.6 cm, weight up to 20 g).

The smallest species is a fly bird (Mellisuga minima), green above, white below, found in Jamaica and Haiti, the size of a bumblebee.

The largest species is a giant (gigantic) hummingbird (Patagona gigas (Vieillot, 1824)), with a straight long beak and a fork-shaped tail, a pale brown top with a green sheen, a reddish-brown bottom, with a gray-yellow uppertail, 21, 6 cm, found in most of the western countries of South America, it is also found at an altitude of 4000-5000 m. In the extreme south, it is a migratory bird.

They differ from other birds with a long thin beak, the upper half of which mainly encircles the lower one, the absence of bristles at the base of the beak, a long, deeply forked tongue that can protrude far from the mouth, long, sharp wings with 10, rarely 9, large flight feathers and only six very short small, almost hidden under the coverts, weak, very small legs with long claws and completely unsuitable for walking.

Christopher Clark of the University of California, Berkeley, using cameras capable of ultra-fast sequences of shots, captured the moments when hummingbirds entered their peak. As a result, Clarke calculated: hummingbirds reached speeds of almost 400 of their bodies per second. The scientist writes about this in the specialized journal "Proceedings of the Royal Society B". Comparing the length of the hummingbird's body to its speed, Christopher Clark said that their ratio is "greater than that of a fighter when the afterburner is on, and greater than that of a space shuttle when it enters the earth's atmosphere." At the last stage of the peak, when hummingbirds unfold their wings, they demonstrate such instantaneous inhibition, which is inaccessible to any other living organism performing aerial maneuvers.

The beak, which in one species, the sword-billed hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera), is longer than the body, sometimes straight, sometimes arched, sometimes very strongly bent downward, in some upward. Feathers on the head often form various beams, tufts. The wings are very strongly developed, with a very long brush, a less developed forearm and a short shoulder, and a large ridge on the sternum. The tail is very diverse in shape and consists of 10 feathers, except for the racket-tailed hummingbird (Loddigesia mirabilis), which has only four tail feathers.

The plumage of many hummingbirds is distinguished by extremely bright colors and metallic luster and is often very different from one sex to another in color, development, tail shape, etc. Males are generally brighter in color and are especially characterized by bizarre forms of tail and head feathers. Females are dimmer.

These are very agile, perky and quarrelsome birds, displaying extreme courage in attacks on relatively large birds, especially during the period of hatching.

Their flight is extremely fast (up to 80 km / h), dexterous and maneuverable, reminiscent of the flight of Lepidopteran butterflies. In flight, small species emit buzzing wings, making up to 80-100 beats per second, while large species make only 8-10 beats per second. The movement of the wings is so fast that the outlines of their accomplishment merge, very often they keep motionless in front of the flowers thanks to the rapid flapping of their wings, like twilight butterflies. At rest, the hummingbird heart beats at a frequency of 500 beats per minute, and during physical activity (flight) 1200 or more. The maximum lifespan of a hummingbird is 9 years.

Hummingbirds feed on flowers. Previously, it was believed that hummingbirds feed only on the nectar of flowers, sucking nectar on the fly, but in reality, the main, and for many, exclusive food, are small insects, which they get from flowers, and some from the surface of leaves. It was observed, in addition, that they seized insects stuck in cobwebs, or caught flying insects.

Their voice is mainly a weak chirp, but some, such as the smallest representative of the family - the fly bird, sing.

Most species nest on trees, bushes, some species, like swifts, stick nests with saliva to rocks or leaves. Very skillfully they build nests from plant fluff, grass blades, etc., and attach lichens, moss, etc. to them. The nests are hung on the branches or ends of leaves. Only the female takes part in the construction of the nest.

Lay two white eggs, which are incubated by one female for 14-19 days. Chicks are naked, weak and helpless, they are also fed by one female.

Various species of hummingbirds (Trochilidae)
1. Horned hummingbird (Heliactin bilopha). 2. Dupont's hummingbird (Tilmatura dupontii). 3. Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna). 4. Avocettula recurvirostris. 5. Angel hummingbird (Heliomaster furcifer). 6. Snow-capped hummingbird (Microchera albocoronata). 7. Wonderful coquette hummingbird (Lophornis magnificus). 8. Erion Eriocnemis cupreoventris. 9. Sickle-billed hummingbird (Eutoxeres aquila)

Hummingbirds benefit from being plant pollinators.

Hummingbird skins are used as decoration, as a result of which they were massively exterminated and the number of many species has sharply decreased.

Hummingbirds and plant reproduction

Among the orchids of Central and South America, some Epidendrum, Cochlioda, Comparettia, and Ellianthus are adapted to hummingbird pollination. Beautiful Rodriguezia (Rodriguezia venusta) attracts hummingbirds Chlorostilbon aureoventris pucherani to pollination, and intermediate zygopetalum (Zygopetalum intermedium) uses the services of Clytolaema rubricauda. With the help of hummingbirds, flowers of some Colombian and Peruvian Masdevallia species, painted in warm colors, are pollinated

Anidación de un Cynanthus latirostris

Los colibríes eligen zonas seguras para anidar, buscan lugares difíciles de alcanzar por depredadores para asegurar el desarrollo de las crías.

Cuando intentamos ayudar a la hembra podemos colocar un bebedero en la zona de anidación para facilitarle la tarea de alimentación. Sin embargo, debemos considerar que otros individuos entrarán en disputa por el territorio. Para evitar que obliguen a la hembra a abandonar el nido y, por ende, a sus huevos, debemos ubicar el bebedero en una zona lo más opuesta posible.

Agradecemos a @ Angélica Bernal por compartirnos su nido.

# FloresparaColibríes # JardinesparaColibríes # AnidacióndeColibríes # Colibríes #NidosUrbanos # NidoEnMiBalcón