You’ve likely met this week’s animal – you may even have fed it. It is that tiny avian the hummingbird. And by “tiny,” I mean “teeny tiny.” The bee hummingbird is the absolute smallest of all birds at 5 centimeters[1] long. Small though it may be, it is very prominent in the animal game – and for good reason, as we’ll see.

Special powers

The hummingbird can’t just fly; it even hovers. It can flit about in any direction it cares to, like gravity ain’t even no thing.

also, who needs legs?

It’s like, “Physics? Pffft.”

It accomplishes these feats of flight by flapping its wings incredibly fast – sometimes as fast as 80 wingbeats a second. Try doing anything even 40 times a second. Not so easy, huh? Well the hummingbird’s wings are twice as fast as that thing you couldn’t come close to doing. I bet you feel the fool now for doubting its impressiveness.

Also, in one species, laser breath.


The hummingbird is constantly near death by starvation. Its quick little body burns up the fuel in its food so quickly that the hummingbird basically lives its life stuffing its face just to keep enough in the tank to get by. Its abysmal economy of energy is why the Hummer was named for this creature.

Number of legs

Two, barely.


The hummingbird eats up to 12 times own weight in nectar every day. To supplement all that sugar-water as part of this balanced breakfast, the hummingbird also dines on the occasional soft insect or spider.


A group of hummingbirds gather at the local watering nectaring hole.


There are numerous species of hummingbird, each described by a different adjective. Just a sampling of these species follows:

  • ruby-throated
  • blue-throated
  • pepperoni-throated
  • normal-throated
  • giant
  • sassy
  • sensitive
  • fiery-tailed
  • sword-billed
  • laser-breathed
  • machine-gun-toed
  • Rufous
  • Anna’s
  • toxic
  • Allen’s
  • eloquent
  • cowardly
  • broad-tailed
  • tooth-billed
  • buff-bellied
  • black-chinned
  • bug-eyed
  • stiff-legged
  • spotty-lipped
  • worm-headed
  • hallelujah
  • holy —-
  • where’s the Tylenol

These, and the many other hummingbirds not named above, are all divided into nine warring clans:

  • the hermits, who keep mostly to themselves, biding their time for the others to kill each other off.
  • the mangoes, most laid-back of all the clans. Their house sigil is the Jimmy Buffett: Songs You Know By Heart cover.
  • the giant hummingbird, who pledges allegiance to no other.
  • the coquettes, immortal, wisest, and fairest of all hummingbirds, who were gifted three of the Rings of Power.
  • the mountain-gems, miners by trade and Hatfields by marriage. They have an especially bloody feud with the emeralds.
  • the bees, so small. So impossibly small.
  • the brilliants, whose name was given to them ironically some time around their leader’s sixth year of high school.
  • the topazes and jacobins, who formed an alliance in the earliest years of the Hummingbird Wars. Their consolidated might makes them the most landed of all the clans.
  • the emeralds, who spend most of their time plotting against the mountain-gems or Sonic the Hedgehog.

For centuries, these houses have clashed. Though it is currently something of a cold war, it is only a matter of time before conflict flares up again.

hummingbird at peace

The din of war has quieted to a… hum.

Wikipedia’s Talk Page Asks

“Does anyone know if hummingbirds can be or have been eaten? I bet they are succulent. Couldn’t find any infos on the world wide web.”

What if it fought a bear?

As if hummingbird would stop fighting hummingbird long enough to fight the bear. If it did find the time, when’s it going to eat? We’re probably looking at one hungry hummingbird and one victorious bear.

Is it noble?


Final rating

Do you hear that? That low, almost imperceptible, constant hum? THE HUM – is it the work of the hummingbird, as its name suggests?[2] THE HUM wants you to know it can hear you too. THE HUM is the best listener you will ever know. Tell THE HUM your problems. Give over to it all your troubles, all your concerns, all your hopes, all your dreams. Give THE HUM your self. THE HUM must feed; it must always… feed.








[1]Or about two inches, if you don’t speak Metric.

[2]Yes, it is.

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One thought on “Hummingbird

  1. Sam says:

    I always thought they hummed because they didn’t know any of the words, but I guess Jimmy Buffet put the lie to that.

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