Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day #72: Spring is humming in Appalachia!

Mid-April is the time we work on our taxes. We prepare our gardens and taste the hint of summer. In Appalachia, it is the time when the hummingbirds return!

Today is a tribute to the hummingbird. I made a mini's about the size of a nickel.

I found a bunch of neat facts about hummingbirds. Our new show features a hummingbird, so we wanted to know as much as possible.
  • Hummingbirds are the tiniest birds in the world, but their brain weight (4.2% of its body weight) makes it the biggest birdbrain!
  • A hummingbird's brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom.
  • Hummingbirds are can remember every flower they have been to, and they know how long it will take each flower to refill.
  • Hummingbirds can hear better and see farther than humans -- they can even see ultraviolet light! They do not have a sense of smell.
  • A hummingbird's tongue is grooved like the shape of a "W" with tiny hairs on the tip to help lap up nectar.
  • A hummingbird's heart beats up to 1,260 times per minute; the heart beats 250 times per minute at rest.
  • A hummingbird's metabolism is roughly 100 times that of an elephant.
  • An average sized hummingbird will have about 940 feathers.
  • Females will lay a clutch of two eggs; the babies are about the size of a penny.
  • Hummingbirds can fly both forward and backwards; they can hover, fly sideways and even upside-down! A hummingbird wings will beat about 70 times per second. Hummingbird's wings will beat up to 200 times per second when diving.
  • Ruby-throated hummingbirds have been known to travel 500 miles over the Gulf of Mexico to breeding grounds. This trip takes about twenty hours.
    • Hummingbirds need to eat on average 7 times per hour for about 30-60 seconds; they will visit an average of one thousand flowers per day for nectar. Many plants depend on hummingbirds for pollination.

    Not the best clip -- tricky manipulation while recording!


    1. I love this! What great ideas you have come up with. I'm adding your site as a link on the Puppets for Libraries blog. II can't wait to see what you come up with next.

    2. Thanks for the link, Granny Sue -- I hope everyone has fun with it!