The broad-tailed hummingbird is one of the most beautiful birds in the world. From their lovely appearance to their hovering stance, birdwatchers often plant floral bushes that attract these delicate creatures right to their windowsill. While you likely know a little bit about these well-known birds, these 4 fun facts will help you to get to know a little more about these beautiful delicate birds that maybe aren’t quite so delicate after all!
1. Broad-tailed birds periodically “hibernate” their body temperatures when its chilly out.
While the broad-tailed hummingbird species does not hibernate like a bear might… it still hibernates in its own way. When temperatures drop, the bird slows its body core from 54 Fahrenheit to 44 Fahrenheit to enter a slowed metabolic state. While it might not seem like a massive difference in body temperature, it is quite the feat. It is the equivalent of a human dropping their temperature from 98.6 Fahrenheit to a whopping 88.6 Fahrenheit!
2. Male broad-tails can be quite the assertive partner in the right conditions.
During mating season, nature does its best to ensure the survival of all species. The broad-tailed hummingbird is no different. In the thick of the mating season, male broad-tail hummingbirds are often known to pin down their female counterparts when they dive upon them in low lying vegetation.
3. They have been known to be quite resilient.
A banded bird was once captured and then released to track her migration as well as life span. This lucky bird was considered, at least to our best knowledge, the longest living of the broad-tailed hummingbird to date. Living at just under 13 years, this bird spent the last ten years of its life flying the skies of the same state she was banded in… lovely Colorado.
4. Male birds are both noisy and silent depending on the time of year.
The male broad-tailed bird is known for its vocal wings. In fact, the male bird possess a loud trill to their wings. As they fly through the sky this produces the classic hum that we have come to associate with hummingbirds. However, as their wingtips wear thin as the bird flies throughout the year, come midwinter the trill of their wings is inaudible. As the breeding season rolls back around, the broad-tail has once again grown new feathers and returned to its trademark noisy wings for a brand-new year.
Broad-tailed birds are one of the more common birds that watchers find right outside their window, however, their life isn’t all that common. From the way that their wings change throughout the year to the amazing resiliency of their tiny bodies and lifespan, with a second glance these delicate birds are quite the little warriors. Whether you are a longtime bird gazer or you are just now learning about all the ins and outs that make each species tick, with the right care and proper plants you can attract these lovely birds to your backyard for a lifetime… and learn all about how intriguing they are from up close.