Did You Know . . .
Our planet is filled with at least 338 species of
hummingbirds? These tiny acrobats wear a fantastic
array of colorful costumes! Most make their homes
in the tropics of Central and South America, but
some venture as far north as Alaska.
keep their heads well
trimmed, but not
coquette. Males sport
quite the “do” with
The “Tyrian metaltail” sounds like some
sort of comic book hero. Its shimmering
armor is a great example of the striking
colors that hummingbirds are known for.
Their metallic color comes from reflected
sunlight, not their own pigments.
The sword-billed hummingbird is the only
bird with a beak longer than its body
frame. Its extended nozzle makes sipping
nectar from tube-shaped flowers a snap.
The nation of Ecuador is known for its beautiful
hummers, and the violet-tailed sylph leads the show.
As the males zip across the Andes Mountains, they
appear to be wearing a deep violet cape.
The rufous hummingbird is truly a road—or rather, a sky—warrior. They can migrate
3,000 miles each year, flying from as far
north as Alaska to as far south as Mexico.
The booted racket-tail
hummingbird wears fluffy
white “boots.” These
accessories aren’t needed
for warmth in the hot
tropics of South America,
but for a dazzling display.
Males like to show off
their tails, which are
longer than their bodies!