The hummingbird is one of the most dazzling species in the bird world. Despite it’s diminutive stature, it’s incredibly athletic and physically fit. A hummingbird’s wings beat up to 200 times a minute. It’s rapid pace, along with its vibrant plumage, make it a favorite among bird watchers.
There are 320 species of hummingbirds, all of which come from the family Trochilidae. The name hummingbird stems from the ‘hum’ made when the hummingbird flies. Hummingbird species often have very descriptive, exotic names (sapphire, hill star, topaz sun-gem), which were given to them by British naturalist John Gould in the 19th century.
Hummingbirds primarily live in South America, though there are approximately 12 species located in U.S. and Canada. The ruby-throated hummingbird, one of the most popular among bird enthusiasts, breeds in the Eastern United States from Nova Scotia to Florida. They live in open woodlands, forests, meadows, grasslands and in parks and can be attracted with a hummingbird feeder.