Black Chinned Hummingbird
Liz Bonnin presents the North American black chinned hummingbird.
Tweet of the Day is the voice of birds and our relationship with them, from around the world.
Liz Bonnin presents the North American black chinned hummingbird. What seems to be a large green beetle is flying erratically across a Los Angeles garden: suddenly, it hovers in mid-air to probe a flower bloom; this is a black-chinned hummingbird. Although often thought of as exclusively tropical, a few species of hummingbirds occur widely in North America and in the west; the Black-chinned hummingbird is the most widespread of all. Both sexes are glittering emerald above: the male's black throat is bordered with a flash of metallic purple, which catches the sun. Black-chinned "hummers" are minute, weighing in at just over 3 grams. But they are pugnacious featherweights seeing off rival males during intimidation flights with shrill squeals, whilst remarkably beating their wings around 80 times a second. They'll also readily come to artificial sugar-feeders put out by householders to attract these flying jewels to their gardens.