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Oklahoma's Summer Jewels

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

JPG -- cover picture

Wildlife Diversity Program
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
1801 N. Lincoln
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405)521-4616


Hummingbirds are Oklahoma's smallest birds and are unique in many respects. They are the only birds that can hover, fly backward and upside down as easily as they fly forward. Their wings beat 70 times a second while hovering and up to 200 times a second during courtship dives. To accomplish these amazing feats, hummingbird wing muscles are, for their size, larger than those of any other bird species. The hummingbird's brain is 4.2 percent of its total weight, making it proportionately the largest brain in the bird world.

A hummer's metabolic rate, the rate at which it uses energy, is the highest of any warm-blooded vertebrate except the shrew. Hummingbirds consume half their weight in sugars each day. In migration, they fly 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico twice each year. The bird's sparkling beauty, amazing antics at sugar-water feeders and tolerance of human activities certainly makes it one of Oklahoma's favorite "Watchable Wildlife" species.


This resource is based on the following source:
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.  No Date.  Oklahoma's summer 
     jewels -- Ruby-throated hummingbirds.  Oklahoma Department of Wildlife 
     Conservation, Oklahoma City, OK.
This resource should be cited as:
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.  No Date.  Oklahoma's summer 
     jewels -- Ruby-throated hummingbirds.  Oklahoma Department of Wildlife 
     Conservation, Oklahoma City, OK.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie
     Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/okhummin/index.htm
     (Version 16JUL97).

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