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An extraordinary bird to admire

Are you curious about why we used so many hummingbirds on our website? Hummingbirds are a special species which are super light, agile and fast. So they are the perfect symbol of efficiency and speed combined together, just like a supply chain should be. Here are some interesting facts about these amazing creatures:

They hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, which vary from around 12 beats per second in the largest species, to in excess of 80 in some of the smallest.

Of those species that have been measured in wind tunnels, their top speeds exceed 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph) and some species can dive at speeds in excess of 22 m/s (79 km/h; 49 mph).

Hummingbirds have the highest mass-specific metabolic rate of any homeothermic animal.

To conserve energy when food is scarce, and nightly when not foraging, they can go into torpor, a state similar to hibernation, slowing their metabolic rate to 1/15th of its normal rate.

88 per second

The highest recorded wingbeats for wild hummingbirds during hovering is 88 per second, as measured for the purple-throated woodstar weighing 3.2 g.

In natural settings full of highly complex background motion, hummingbirds are able to precisely hover in place by rapid coordination of vision with body position.

  • During evolution, hummingbirds have adapted to the navigational needs of visual processing while in rapid flight or hovering by development of an exceptionally dense array of retinal neurons allowing for increased spatial resolution in the lateral and frontal visual fields.
  • A study of broad-tailed hummingbirds indicated that hummingbirds have a fourth color-sensitive visual cone (humans have three) that detects ultraviolet light and enables discrimination of non-spectral colors, possibly having a role in courtship displays, territorial defense, and predator evasion.
  • Hummingbirds are highly sensitive to stimuli in their visual fields, responding to even minimal motion in any direction by reorienting themselves in midflight.
  • With the exception of insects, hummingbirds while in flight have the highest metabolism of all animals.
  • Their heart rate can reach as high as 1,260 beats per minute, a rate once measured in a blue-throated hummingbird, with a breathing rate of 250 breaths per minute, even at rest.
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