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What You Should Know about the Broad-Billed Hummingbird

The Broad-Billed Hummingbird is in the family of the only bird that can hover and move forward and backward. Because its wings are made up of elongated bones, its wings can rotate much like the human wrist. It often uses this ability to not only catch insects but also to hover over flowers and sip nectar. The fact that its top bill (mandible) covers the lower bill around the sides, it is able to keep the nectar in its bill without it running out.

800px-Broad-billed_Hummingbird_RWD2Scientists are not entirely sure what the lifespan of this bird is. They can be found wherever there are nectar producing plants. Hummingbirds lay two eggs that hatch within fifteen to twenty days after they are laid. The fledglings are usually able to depart the nest after twenty-two days.

The female Broad-Billed Hummingbird is similar to the male except that she had pearl-grey colored feathers on her underbelly. Hummingbirds do not walk, their feet are small and only adapted to perch. Three of their toes point forward and one point backward.

A relative of the Broad-Billed Hummingbird, the Sword-Billed Hummingbird has the longest bill (relative to its size) than any other known bird. The bird itself is only seven inches in length but its bill makes up four inches of that length. Hummingbirds in the West will often nest on top of manmade structures while those in the East will typically nest in trees. This may be because there are higher populations of Hummingbirds in the West and fewer trees.

Hummingbirds can fly as fast as sixty miles per hour when they are in a courtship display but their average flying speed is 30 miles per hour. They can flap their wings up to seventy times per second, while its heart rate can reach 1260 beats per minute.

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