hummingbird

Definitions

  • Hummingbirds and Fruit
    Hummingbirds and Fruit
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n hummingbird tiny American bird having brilliant iridescent plumage and long slender bills; wings are specialized for vibrating flight
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Additional illustrations & photos:

RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD
two hummingbirds two hummingbirds

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The smallest bird in the world is the bee hummingbird. The bird is 2.24 inches long
    • n hummingbird (Zoöl) any bird of the family Trochilidæ, of which over one hundred genera are known, including about four hundred species. They are found only in America and are most abundant in the tropics. They are mostly of very small size with long slender bills adapted to sucking nectar from flowers, and are noted for the very brilliant iridescent colors of their plumage and their peculiar habit of hovering about flowers while vibrating their wings very rapidly with a humming noise; the wings are specialized for hovering flight, but they can also dart forward and fly quite rapidly. They feed both upon the nectar of flowers and upon small insects. The common humming bird or ruby-throat of the Eastern United States is Trochilus colubris. Several other species are found in the Western United States. See Calliope, and Ruby-throat.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Hummingbirds are the only animal that can fly backwards
    • n hummingbird A bird whose wings, by their rapid vibration, make a humming sound; any bird of the family Trochilidæ. Humming-birds are the most brilliant as well as the smallest of birds, averaging under 3 inches in length, including the bill, which is relatively long and slender, and usually straight, but sometimes decurved or recurved. The tongue is slender and extensile, and constructed like a double-barreled tube; it is used, like the haustellum of an insect, to suck the sweets of flowers. The birds, however, also eat insects. They build a nest, generally like a little cup, coated outside with lichens, and lined with gossamer, plant-down, and other delicate fibers. The eggs are always two in number, and pure white. The wings are narrow and acute or falcate, and so rapidly vibrated as to become indistinct to view; the flight is very swift. The feet are very small and fitted only for perching, not for progression. The tail is of every shape, and sometimes longer than the rest of the bird. A few of the humming-birds are dull-colored, but most of them glitter with the most exquisite hues of iridescent quality or metallic luster, changing in different lights. Shining grass-green is the most frequent color, but many other tints are found, as purple, violet, steel-blue, golden green, crimson, and various shades of flery red, particularly about the head, where many species are also ornamented with crests, ruffs, and gorgets not less elegant in form than in color. All the humming-birds are confined to America, extending from Alaska to Patagonia, and they are especially numerous between the tropics. The latest critical authority on the subject describes 426 species, of 125 genera. About 16 genera are known to occur in the United States. The commonest of these, and the only one known east of the Mississippi, is the rubythroat, Trochilus colubris. The northernmost is the rufous or Nootka Sound hummer, Selasphorus rufus. The largest in the United States is Eugenes fulgens, about 4 inches long. Amazilia fuscicaudata is a rather large one. The giants among them all reach a length, bill included, of about 7 inches. Also called hum-bird and hummer.
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Usage

In literature:

There is such a moth in England, too, where no hummingbird is found.
"Ways of Nature" by John Burroughs
Nothing was ever more bewitching to watch than that atom in feathers, the hummingbird mother.
"Upon The Tree-Tops" by Olive Thorne Miller
Tess' class were to be butterflies and hummingbirds.
"The Corner House Girls in a Play" by Grace Brooks Hill
I never saw hummingbirds fed so gently.
"A-Birding on a Bronco" by Florence A. Merriam
Palpitating with life, she looked like some kind of a marvelous human hummingbird.
"The Preliminaries" by Cornelia A. P. Comer
He was as happy as a hummingbird.
"Donalblane of Darien" by J. Macdonald Oxley
Wait for my Hummingbird to speak.
"The Heritage of the Hills" by Arthur P. Hankins
His pilgrimage to the Hummingbird-land, methinks, was well conducted.
"The Infidel, Vol. I." by Robert Montgomery Bird
A California lady has taken some remarkable photographs of the Anna's hummingbird in the act, showing just how it is done.
"The Woodpeckers" by Fannie Hardy Eckstorm
With a motion as swift as the flight of a hummingbird she caught his hand.
"The Hills of Refuge" by Will N. Harben
Once there was a beautiful girl who had many suitors, and among the most persistent were the Crane and the Hummingbird.
"Indian Legends Retold" by Elaine Goodale Eastman
Upon her hat she wore a kind of fowl, An hummingbird, I ween, or else an owl.
"Verse and Worse" by Harry Graham
The next few days made the trees ever memorable: they were the Mecca of all the hummingbirds in the jungle.
"Jungle Peace" by William Beebe
Hummingbirds nests are the most exquisite of birds' homes.
"Color Key to North American Birds" by Frank M. Chapman
This bird, which in brilliancy of plumage vies with the Hummingbirds, possesses little claim to be ranked among soberly clad British birds.
"British Birds in their Haunts" by Rev. C. A. Johns
A hummingbird that lived in my garden sipped from a sprig of honeysuckle that I held in my hand.
"Birds Every Child Should Know" by Neltje Blanchan
The proportion of this latter increases until the the lining is reacht where it forms a felt like a hummingbird's nest.
"Life Histories of North American Wood Warblers Part One and Part Two" by Arthur Bent
Parrots, scarcely larger than hummingbirds, flicked out of the trees and seemed about to strike the carriage.
"When the Owl Cries" by Paul Bartlett
One the size of a bean is large enough to hold a hummingbird baby, till it is old enough to come out.
"The Children's Book of Birds" by Olive Thorne Miller
You are a hummingbird, also a peach!
"Uncle Walt [Walt Mason]" by Walt Mason
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In news:

I answered yes because my son, Sean, had just related a story a couple of weeks earlier of hummingbirds recently visiting his feeders.
Then he told me about a nest box that he had purchased for hummingbirds .
These two belong to a group known as the sphinx moths and they mimic hummingbirds in shape, size and behavior.
The hummingbird moths are about an inch to an inch and a quarter long and their swept-back wings are about two inches long.
Marion Brady spent years rehabilitating hummingbirds .
Brady has been told to cease saving hummingbirds .
During this time, up to 200 hummingbirds visit our feeders in a single day.
Roy's Folks: White Hummingbird .
Pope said this is the second year hummingbirds have come back to his plants.
Back to Knoxville for what's sure to be a fun and informative afternoon celebrating the wonder of hummingbirds .
Hummingbird Fest offers info, activities for bird's fans.
Christine Knowlton caught this hummingbird at her feeder in Hannawa Falls.
What to look for to tell apart Costa's, Anna's, and Black-chinned Hummingbirds .
In nature, hummingbirds eat flower nectar for energy and bugs for protein.
A rufous hummingbird feeds outside the American Museum of Natural History despite winter temperatures.
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In science:

We can say that penguins are atypical in that they cannot fly; hummingbirds are atypical in that they have very fine motor control; parrots are atypical in that they could talk; and so on.
Evaluating Defaults
Fig.4 The geoglyph of the Hummingbird has the bill touching a line having the direction of the sunrise on the December solstice.
Maria Reiche's Line to Archaeoastronomy
The Peruvian writer and poet José María Arguedas imagined “picaflores que llegan hasta el sol para beberle su fuego”, that is, hummingbirds flying toward the sun to drink his fire.
Maria Reiche's Line to Archaeoastronomy
By analogy with haute cuisine, in which hummingbirds’ tongues are cooked between two slices of veal after which the veal is thrown away, once the algebra was constructed, the fields and any associated ob jects could be discarded. I unequivocably took the point of view that quarks are real particles. 2.
Color, from baryon spectroscopy to qcd
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