Hummingbirds are nature's aerial acrobats. Capable of flying extremely fast and maneuvering with unequalled agility, the hummingbirds are difficult to see, except in rare moments when they hover or land briefly. This hummingbird in the Galapagos Islands was attracted by a red cap with sweet nectar inside. The young man feeding it has learned that with enough patience, and slow movements, the birds will trust him enough to land on his palm for a snack. There are more than 360 species of hummingbird, some larger than others. The bee hummingbird weighs two grams while the giant hummingbirds weigh up to 24 grams. Hummingbirds are omnivores, consuming flying insects and spiders in addition to the nectar that is a large part of their diet. In the smaller birds, wing beats might reach 80 per second, making their wings impossible for the human eye to see. Hummingbirds have the highest mass-specific metabolic rate of any homeothermic animal. When food is scarce or during nighttime when foraging is not possible, the hummingbird is capable of entering a dormant state, much like hibernation to reduce its metabolism to approximately 1/15th the normal rate. Hummingbirds are one of the most adored of all the bird species.
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