We like birds (obviously), but there are a lot of amazing things about our feathered friends that we don't know. That's why we're introducing Fine Feathers, an exploration of awesome birds and their intriguing feats. First up is a bird praised by the Aztecs and the birdwatcher next door alike, the hummingbird. Aside from their cool dye jobs: 1. The hummingbird is the smallest species of bird. It also has the largest brain. Generally 3-5 inches, the tiny powerhouse packs most of its weight in its pectoral muscles and when it comes to its smarts, they remember everything from the flowers in their territory to the very person who last filled their favorite feeder.
2. They are a universal symbol of joy, playfulness and adaptability. We'd be happy too if we could rotate our wings in circles. The hummingbird is the only bird that can fly up, down, forward, backwards, sideways and just hang out and hover.
3. The hummingbird is both present and resilient. They can't smell so they use their attraction to bold colors to find food. They're also able to travel bizarre distances tirelessly. It makes for the perfect summer equation.
4. They're lovers. With an average heart rate of 1,200 beats per minute, the hummingbird does everything from sing to dive for love. While already able to fly up to 3o miles per hour, they can dive up to 60 miles per hour and this comes in handy when the male is trying to impress the female (you know, show off his diving performance). The males may also get together in a group and sing to their favorite females. If she's interested, she'll dance with him.
5. They love baths and grooming often. This makes the hummingbird nothing short of our kind of bird.