Costa Rica Rica has the privilege of being one of the countries on the continent where there are more hummingbird species, with 54 species that adapt to the different climates and territories of the country. It is considered the bird that contributes the most to flower pollination.
Hummingbirds belong to the order Apodiformes and to the family Trochilidae. They are birds that are characterized by their small size, ranging from 5 centimeters to 20. There are about 330 species of hummingbirds and they live only in America. The hummingbird family extends from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, but most of it is concentrated in the tropics.
Hummingbirds have a long beak that allows them to feed on flowers. When one of these birds inserts its beak into a flower to drink nectar, sticky pollen clings to the sides of the beak and when they visit the next flower, some pollen particles are transferred and – if both flowers are of the same species – the pollination process occurs, which is very necessary to preserve biodiversity.
They visit more than a thousand flowers a day
These birds can visit more than a thousand flowers in a single day in search of food and can eat up to 60 times a day to replenish the energy they use during their flight. The hummingbird can give up to 80 flaps per second in the smallest species. Their wings allow them to float in the air, the same forwards, backwards, up, down and even upside down, being the only birds in the world with the ability to fly backwards. These birds cannot walk.
Due to their ability to fly they can easily elude predators, sometimes even facing larger birds while defending their young; there are reports of hummingbirds clashing with eagles. Hummingbirds know how to detect various fragrances, colors and types of flowers that help them to overcome in certain circumstances.
The tongue and beak of these birds are specially adapted to feeding on flowers. Their tongues are shaped like a “W” to help them sip nectar and their long beaks allow them to easily obtain this from what.
The smallest of them is the bee hummingbird whose body does not exceed the volume of a bumblebee. This hummingbird lives in Cuba and its total length, from the edge of the tail to the tip of its very long beak, does not reach 5 centimeters.