Fast Facts: Hummingbirds – Part II

Welcome to Fast Facts with Reasons for Hope! I’m Carl Kerby.

Have you ever wondered how small a hummingbird is? Down in Cuba, we find the minute bee hummingbird which is only 2 inches and weighs the same as a dime! In contrast, the giant hummingbird is four times as big, coming in at 8 inches and 20 ounces. 

This small, flying marvel has an incredibly high metabolism. This means that everything from eating to sleeping is all about conservation and efficiency. We’ve already looked at its long, slender bill and superfast tongue to help it eat efficiently so let’s take a look at its sleep pattern.

Every night, the hummingbird will enter a hibernation-like sleep state called “torpor,” which slows its heartrate to just fifty beats per minute. While that might not sound slow, consider that when it flies its heart beats as fast as 1,260 beats per minute!

Speaking of flying, have you heard how far the hummingbird can travel? Check back with us next for the “mighty migration” facts. Until then… stay bold!

Karl Kerby is the founder of Reasons for Hope and co-creator of the DeBunked apologetic video series. His radio feature, Fast Facts, is heard weekly on VCY America, Saturdays at 9:25 AM Central.

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