Some resourceful scientists in Peru have recorded sleeping hummingbirds and have discovered that the tiny little jewels of nature actually snore!
Hummingbirds are well known for their remarkably high metabolic rate. They must spend all day darting about at top speed, constantly feeding to fuel their fast pace of life. Their wings beat so fast, racing at anything from 50 to 80 beats per second and this generates their signature “humming” sound.
These tiny birds can fly in any direction and can even hover in mid-air. At their fastest, they can fly at nearly 80 km/h. With such an extremely fast metabolism, their little hearts work overtime.
To sleep they must slip into torpor, which is their resting state. Their metabolism, including breathing and heart rate, all drop dramatically to save energy.
To wake up again, they must breathe deeply to restore their depleted oxygen supply. And that is why it sounds like they are actually snoring.
These delightful little characters are native to the Americas, with over 300 different known species. Hummingbirds are very colorful, and they all sport the stunning iridescent plumage.
They have delicate, long slender beaks and tongues for reaching to the bottom of flowers where the nectar is stored. The plant relies on the hummingbird to dust itself with pollen as it dips its beak to feed. Then the bejeweled delivery boy will take the pollen to other flowers and facilitate pollination.
So, whenever you hear the deep breathing, whistling sound you will know it is the little bird’s kick-start, rousing itself out of torpor to face another hectic, high-speed, busy day.
If you were intrigued by this dear little bird’s “snoring,” share her video with your loved ones.