Hook-Billed Hermit Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds are small, colorful birds that come in various sizes and colors. The hook-billed hermit hummingbird belongs to the Trochilidae family, which includes over 300 other species of birds as well. It can flap its wings about 80 times per second! This makes a humming noise, which is where its name comes from. Hummingbirds come in an assortment of sizes, ranging from 1.75 to 8 inches, and can way anywhere from 0.08 to 0.7 ounces. Hook-billed hermits are usually between 4.7 and 5.4 inches from head to tail, making them one of the larger species of hummingbirds. Their upper bills are black, and their lower bills are more of a yellow-white color. The hook-billed hermit hummingbird gets its name from its almost-straight bill that has a small hook at the end. They have dark faces with a white stripe near the eye. The females tend to be a bit larger than the males. Other than the size, you can recognize the males because their tails have pale/whitish tips, whereas the females do not.
Hook-billed hermit hummingbirds are only found in the Western Hemisphere. You can find them from Southeastern Alaska, all the way down to Southern Chile. There are over 320 species of hummingbirds, 12 of which spend their summer in North America, and migrate to tropical areas for the winter. The hook-billed hermit hummingbird lives in the forests of Eastern Brazil. They tend to stay in elevations below 1,600 feet, along streambeds with the flowering heliconia (flower). The habitat of these birds is damaged and destroyed. This species of hummingbirds is one of the 51 species currently listed on the endangered species list.
There are very few organizations to help save the hook-billed hermit hummingbird in particular, but there are a few organizations to save hummingbirds in general. There are also programs to help save rainforests and the animals that live within them. For example, www.savetherainforest.org is an organization to help save rainforests and animals in them, including hummingbirds. I think that we should stop cutting down rainforests so the animals that live in them won’t be in danger of losing their habitats.
The hook-billed hermit hummingbird is currently listed on the endangered species list. It is estimated that less than 500 of them are still found in their natural range. Hook-billed hermit hummingbirds are on the endangered species list due to forest fires, road building, and deforestation. Back in the day, hummingbirds were killed for their colorful feathers, but today it is mainly from habitat loss.
The hook-billed hermit hummingbird has many adaptations that it shares with other species of hummingbirds. Their unique hovering ability allows them to retrieve nectar from flowers while staying in the air. Their beaks and long tongues also help them gather nectar. Hummingbirds tend to have large eyes for their size, and they are able to see ultra-violet colors that human eyes can’t see. They also have ears that are sensitive to high and low pitched noises. The most interesting fact I learned about hummingbirds, was that they can fly forwards, backwards, and sideways! Hook-billed hermits do not migrate since Brazil is warm year round.
Hook-billed Hermit hummingbirds are amazing creatures. At their incredibly small size, they flap their wings remarkably fast! The heart rate of these breathtaking creatures averages 1,260 beats per minute! The main cause of hook-billed hermits being endangered is due to deforestation, something humans can prevent. By discouraging deforestation, we can help prevent any further destruction to the habitat of hook-billed hermits. These unique birds are important to save because if they die off, it is very likely that the earth will never see anything like them ever again.