Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
And make us happy in the darting bird / That suddenly above the bees is heard, / The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill, / And off a blossom in mid air stands still.” ~A Prayer in Spring, Robert Frost, 1915
The tiny hummingbird’s brain makes up 4.2 percent of its weight; proportionally, the largest of any bird’s! Studies have shown that hummingbirds can remember every flower they’ve ever visited, including on migration routes. They can figure out how long to wait between visits so the flowers have time to generate more nectar. And they can even recognize humans, and know which ones can be counted on to refill empty hummingbird feeders. With attributes such as these along with their diminutive size, beautiful plumage, and unusual and graceful flight abilities, it is no wonder that a group of hummingbirds is called a "charm."
Hummingbirds in Oldenburg
Hummingbirds are nectarivores and fall into nine main types: Topazes, Hermits, Mangoes, Brilliants, Coquettes, Patagona, Mountain Gems, Bees, and Emeralds.
Hummingbirds can see wavelengths into the near-ultraviolet, but hummingbird-pollinated flowers do not reflect these wavelengths as many insect-pollinated flowers do. This narrow color spectrum may render hummingbird-pollinated flowers relatively inconspicuous to most insects, thereby reducing nectar robbing.
Their rapidly beating wings create the humming sound audible to humans. They hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, typically around 50 times per second, allowing them also to fly at speeds exceeding (54 km/h; 34 mph). Hummingbirds do not actually "flap" their wings, they rotate them in a figure eight which enables them to fly backwards in the air and hover.
A flock of hummingbirds is delightfully called a "charm."
For some remarkable high definition video of slow motion humming bird photography, click the stunning still by Scottish photographer Chris Morgan.