are hummingbirds birds or bugs

Song, vocal learning, and hearing edit Complex songs of male

A wide variety of hummingbird species can be heard making chirps, squeaks, whistles, and buzzes. [82][83] During social interactions, foraging, territorial defense, courtship, and mother-nestling communication, vocalizations vary in complexity and spectral content. [82] To deter violent interactions, territorial vocal signals can be made quickly one after the other, becoming louder and more frequent as the intruders continue. [82] Hummingbirds vocalize during the breeding season as a part of courtship. [82].

Vocal production learning by hummingbirds allows for song variation, or “dialects” shared by members of the same species. [82] The wide frequency range of the blue-throated hummingbird’s song, for instance, sets it apart from other typical oscine songs. It ranges from 1 8 kHz to about 30 kHz. [84] Moreover, it generates ultrasonic vocalizations that are ineffective for communication. [84] Since blue-throated hummingbirds frequently alternate between singing and catching tiny flying insects, it’s possible that the singing’s ultrasonic clicks cause disruptions in the flight patterns of the insects, increasing their susceptibility to predators. [84] The song dialects of Andean hummingbirds, Costas, Annas, and long-billed hermits differ depending on the phylogenetic clade and habitat. [82][85] Song of male Annas hummingbird (.

Understanding the syrinx, an avian vocal organ, is crucial to comprehending the composition of hummingbird songs. [86] The presence of internal muscle structure, accessory cartilages, and a large tympanum that acts as an attachment point for external muscles distinguish the hummingbird syrinx from that of other birds in the Apodiformes order. These adaptations are thought to be the cause of the hummingbird’s increased ability to control pitch and wide frequency range. [86][87].

There are at least seven specialized nuclei in the forebrain that produce hummingbird songs. [88][89] A genetic expression study revealed that these nuclei facilitate vocal learning (the capacity to learn vocalizations by imitation), a unique characteristic found in humans, whales and dolphins, and bats, among only two other groups of birds (parrots and songbirds). [88] Only three bird orders—hummingbirds, parrots, and songbirds—may have independently evolved seven similar forebrain structures for singing and vocal learning over the past 66 million years. This suggests that these structures’ evolution is strongly constrained by epigenetic factors and may have originated from a common ancestor. [88][90].

Birds have generally been found to vocalize and hear between 2 and 5 kHz, with higher frequencies causing a decrease in hearing sensitivity. [85] Vocalizations of the Ecuadorian hillstar (Oreotrochilus chimborazo) have been observed in the wild at a frequency exceeding 10 kHz, which is significantly higher than the known hearing range of the majority of birds. [85] The hummingbird brain has distinct areas dedicated to song processing, but its song system nuclei are similar to those of other songbirds. [82].

Morphology edit

Hummingbird weights vary among the estimated 366 species, ranging from as little as 2 grams (0 071 oz) to as large as 20 grams (0. 71 oz). [14][15] They are distinguished by their long, narrow beaks, or bills, which can be strongly curved or straight and vary in length. [14][15] The bee hummingbird – only 6 centimetres (2. 4 in) long and weighing about 2 grams (0. 071 oz) is the smallest bird and warm-blooded vertebrate in the world. [14][16].

The anatomical structure of hummingbirds’ compact bodies and relatively long, blade-like wings allows them to fly like helicopters in any direction, including hovering. [14][15] The wing beats, especially when hovering, create humming sounds that serve as a warning to other birds. [14] Males in certain species use the sounds their tail feathers make when courtship flying. [14][15] Hummingbirds can beat their wings up to 80 times per second, which is made possible by a high metabolic rate that depends on them scavenging flower nectar for sugars. [7][15] Close-up of toe arrangement in a.

Although the shortness of their legs gives them somewhat less propulsion than is determined in other birds, hummingbirds use their legs as pistons to generate thrust when taking flight. [19] Hummingbird feet are tucked under the body to allow for maximum maneuverability and aerodynamics during flight. [18].

Hummingbirds are the species whose top flight speeds, measured during flight, surpass 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph). [16] Some male species dive at a speed of about 23 m/s (83 km/h; 51 mph) from a height of 30 meters (100 feet) above a female during courtship. [20][21].

Males have unique feather brilliance and ornamentation on their head, neck, wings, and breasts, while females have different feather colors. The gorget, an iridescent neck-feather patch that resembles a bib and changes color depending on the viewing angle to entice females and warn male competitors away from territory, is the most common feather ornament on males [14][15]. [14].

Vision edit Male rufous hummingbird (

Even though hummingbirds’ eyes are small—only 5-7 mm in diameter—they take up more space in the skull than those of other birds and animals because of decreased skull ossification. [74].

Moreover, the large corneas in hummingbird eyes account for approximately 2050 percent of the total transverse eye diameter. This is coupled with an extraordinary density of retinal ganglion cells, which are responsible for processing visual information, with approximately 2045 000 neurons per mm2. [75] When the pupil is dilated to its maximum, the enlarged cornea in relation to the total eye diameter increases the amount of light perception by the eye, enabling nocturnal flight. [75].

Hummingbirds developed an exceptionally dense array of retinal neurons during evolution to meet the navigational demands of visual processing during fast flight or hovering. This adaptation allowed for greater spatial resolution in the lateral and frontal visual fields. [75] Morphological analyses of the hummingbird brain revealed that the pretectal nucleus lentiformis mesencephali, also known as the nucleus of the optic tract in mammals, is home to neuronal hypertrophy, which is comparatively the largest in any bird. This region is responsible for honing dynamic visual processing during rapid flight and hovering. [76][77].

An improved capacity to perceive and process fast-moving visual stimuli encountered during rapid forward flight, insect foraging, competitive interactions, and high-speed courtship is indicated by the enlargement of the brain region responsible for visual processing. A study conducted on broad-tailed hummingbirds revealed that, unlike humans, hummingbirds have a fourth color-sensitive visual cone (that detects ultraviolet light and allows for the discrimination of non-spectral colors). This additional cone may play a function in flower identification, courtship displays, territorial defense, and evading predators. [79] By adding a fourth color cone to their visual spectrum, hummingbirds would be able to detect up to five non-spectral colors, such as purple, ultraviolet-red, ultraviolet-green, ultraviolet-yellow, and ultraviolet-purple, as well as ultraviolet light and color combinations found in their surroundings, including colorful plants and feathers and gorgets. [79].

Due to their extreme sensitivity to movements within their visual fields, hummingbirds will quickly reorient themselves in midair in response to even the slightest movement. In complex and dynamic natural environments, their visual sensitivity enables them to hover in place precisely. [77][78][80] The lentiform nucleus, which is tuned to fast-pattern velocities, enables highly tuned control and collision avoidance during forward flight. [77].


Is hummingbird an insect or bird?

The hummingbird. It’s not an insect, that’s obvious. It flies like one and flaps like one, but it’s not a bug. It’s a bird, but because of its wing structure, flight pattern, and flapping pattern, it’s like no other bird.

Why are hummingbirds like insects?

“Hummingbirds are more like insects in flight techniques in the sense that they can perform hovering and slow-speed flight,” says researcher Haoxiang Luo, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University. With birds, insects, or even airplanes, a physical force known as lift is key to flight.

What kind of bird is a hummingbird?

Hummingbirds belong to the avian family Trochilidae, and their closest relatives are the equally fascinating swifts. Hummingbirds are small (weighing 2 to 20 grams), with long, narrow bills and small, saber-like wings.

Are hummingbirds moths or birds?

At a glance, hummingbird moths can easily be mistaken for their namesake. But hummingbird moths are insects, not birds. One way to tell the difference is their size. Hummingbird moths are smaller in size, at 1 to 2 inches long.