Spring has officially sprung, and if the beautiful flowers scattered about and annoying allergy attacks weren’t enough of a sign, then hummingbirds sure are. Easily one of my favorite birds, hummingbirds are known for their small, delicate frames, coming in a wide variety of colors and the ridiculous speeds their wings flap at.
There are over 350 different variations of hummingbirds, which mean that’s 349 more variations than I knew existed. You really do learn something new every day. Much like their fellow fast-flying friends, the bees, hummingbirds consume the nectar of flowers with their long narrow beaks acting as a straw to retrieve the sweet liquid. Hummingbirds are very particular about what nectars they consume and rarely touch nectars that are less than 10% sugar, with higher sugar contents being what they prefer. Honestly, I can’t blame them. I’m the same way when it comes to drinks, as I much prefer soda over water any day.
Here’s an interesting fact, hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any animal when in flight, as their hearts can beat at nearly 1200 beats a minute with a breathing rate of roughly 250 breaths a minute, even at rest. Their metabolisms are so high that to conserve energy, hummingbirds have to go into torpor, a state of deep sleep, at night to prevent themselves from dying. Despite their small stature and speedy metabolisms, hummingbirds can live up to a decade, with the longest known lifespan being 12 years in the wild.
As a symbol, hummingbirds represent enjoying life’s little joys, along with endurance and perseverance due to their small size mixed with their remarkable agility. Hummingbirds in many cultures are seen as a messenger of love and a reminder to enjoy and take in the present moment. In dream theory, seeing a hummingbird is a good omen and a sign that good luck is on the way.
If my musings of hummingbirds haven’t been enough to satisfy your craving, and bird watching just simply isn’t an option, we rounded up the best tattoos we could find to celebrate these colorful creatures in all their glory.