Everyone loves hummingbirds – fast-moving little sparkles of light that dart from flower to flower. These members of the Trochilidae family (weak-footed birds) are the smallest birds in the world, ranging from three to five inches and weighing only 3 – 4 grams. They are often seen perching, since they cannot walk, and they prefer to fly. With a long beak and tongue, they lap up nectar from mostly tubular flowers, but also eat small insects. Able to fly forward, backward, up and down, they also take baths “on the fly.” They use up an incredible amount of energy, beating their wings up to 200 per second and their hearts up to 70 times a second. They may feed on 1000 flowers per day and can remember every one of them.
Six species frequent Red Rock Canyon:
- Black-chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri)
- Anna’s hummingbird (Calypte anna)
- Costa’s hummingbird (Calypte costae)
- Broad-tailed hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus)
- Rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)
- Calliope hummingbird (Selasphorus calliope)