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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Female Anna Hummingbird

Hummingbirds are small birds in the family Trochilidae, native only to the Americas. They are known for their ability to hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings, 15–80 times per second (depending on the species). Capable of sustained hovering, the hummingbird has the ability to fly deliberately backwards (this is the only group of birds able to do so or vertically, and to maintain position while drinking nectar or eating tiny arthropods from flower blossoms. They are named for the characteristic hum made by their wings.

The hummingbird is a small bird with a long, thin beak. This elongated beak is one of the defining characteristics of the hummingbird, which, with an extendable, bifurcated tongue, has evolved in order to allow the bird to feed upon nectar deep within flowers. A hummingbird's lower beak also has the unique ability to flex downward to create a wider opening, facilitating the capture of insects in the mouth rather than at the tip of the beak.

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