There are about 338 different species of hummingbirds – an amazing family of birds found only in the New World. Their ability to hover for extended periods and even fly backward makes them unique in the bird world. What they lack in size, they make up for with energy; the pinnacle of this being the Ruby-throated Hummingbird’s incredible ability to flap up to 200 times per second during courtship displays. Though tiny, male hummingbirds are among the most flashy birds in the world, often sporting an array of iridescent feathers to attract mates. Found from Alaska to the very tip of South America, from the rainforest to the hot desert to the bone-chilling heights of the Andes, there are very few places where these adaptable birds can’t survive.
The remarkable racket-shaped appendages of male Marvellous Spatuletails are used in courtship displays and can even be moved independently. They are found only in a tiny region of northern Peru. Because of habitat loss and their small distribution, they’re listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Easily one of the most gorgeous hummingbirds in the world, with its dazzling colors and long tail. This species is found in arid, mountainous habitats in Bolivia and northern Argentina.
The northernmost year-round resident hummingbird. Anna’s Hummingbirds regularly winter as far north as Southeast Alaska! During cold winter nights, they must go into a controlled state of hypothermia known as “torpor”, when their metabolic rate drops by an astounding 95%! Their internal body clock wakes them about two hours before dawn, and they slowly shiver, raising their body temperature back to 40°c.
Found at elevations upwards of 5200m or 17,000 feet in the northern Andes, this species’ ability to withstand freezing temperatures and thin air is impressive, to say the least! They feed nearly exclusively on the orange flowers of chuquiraga plants that grow on the slopes of volcanic peaks.
The spectacularly long, iridescent tail of male Long-tailed Sylphs is truly an unbelievable sight! Found throughout the cloud forests of the northern Andes, where they zip through the dense foliage, glittering streamers in tow
This widespread hummingbird ranges throughout Central and South America. Their glaring purple and green iridescence will get your attention as they zip through the rainforest!
This tiny hummer sports what is easily one of the best hairdos in the entire bird world! Patchily distributed throughout lowland rainforest from Panama to Bolivia