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I made a small movie about hummingbirds. I hope you enjoy their lovable activities.

Contents     •What is a hummingbird?   •Hummingbird Movie


What is a hummingbird?

Hummingbirds live in Latin America and North America. They are very tiny birds about five inches long. They are divided into 340 species according to the color of the bird's head, neck and back. Hummingbirds are called "flying jewels" because they have iridescent colors that change depending on the light source and its brightness.

The word "humming" comes from the noise the bird produces when it hovers at a flower while drinking nectar. The hummingbird inserts its bill into a flower and sucks the nectar using a very long tongue. Did you know the hummingbird's tongue is split at its tip? It works like a straw to draw the nectar and also is able to catch bugs with its tweezerlike motion.

In the southeastern part of the U.S. we have Ruby-throated Hummingbirds which have a green back, gray-white front and a red marking on the front of their neck (for male). They come in May or July and leave in October to go to the Caribbean Islands across the Gulf of Mexico. It is a great distance.

[Hummingbird in Nazca]

Almost all the houses in our town have hummingbird feeders because the birds are so cute. We prepare sugar water for them. The feeders have a red color because hummingbirds like red flowers.

For people who enjoy dressing their dogs in warm jackets, there are many kinds of feeders designed with a footledge so the hummingbird can rest. I think they are spoiling the birds.

People have liked hummingbirds since ancient days. A drawing of a hummingbird in Nazca (Peru) is one example. Though I was familiar with the picture, I didn't realize the drawing was so good until I saw the real birds.

[QuickTime Icon]Hummingbird Movie

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