Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hummingbird and his wings

I like this hummingbird photo because the camera was fast enough and the hummer's wings were slowing down to land, so that the wings were partially captured in the photo.

I have mentioned the exceptionally high metabolism of hummingbirds, their lack of storage capacity for calories, and their very frequent feeding. That raises a question. What do they do at night? How do they store enough calories to keep their little hearts beating so fast?

The answer is that at night they lower their body temperatures as much as 17 to 28 degrees C. (30 to 50 degrees F.) and go into a very deep sleep to conserve energy. Like bears in the winter up north, in essence they hibernate each night!

Hummingbird feathers were of special importance to the Aztecs, who used them in wedding ornaments.

25 species of hummingbirds are considered threatened. One of those, the mangrove hummingbird, is found only in the mangrove forest patches of Costa Rica's Pacific coast, such as the Tamarindo and Langosta estuaries that I have shown on the past on this website. It is critical to protect such habitats.

This week we are showing nighttime photos of Budapest on Viva la Voyage. Budapest is beautiful at night, even if it does not have any hibernating hummingbirds.


Kate said...

Beautiful capture! Love the shape of the wings and the lovely colours!

brattcat said...

This may be my favorite in this series. Remarkable shot.

Sharon said...

Wow, you really got some fantastic hummingbird pictures.

Lenora Regan - said...

Just lovely! I have two new hummingbird friends that are outside my window and need to get a feeder like this. Thanks for sharing.

JM said...

Great hummingbird shots! I tried but I couldn't get a proper one... :-)

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