Texas Hummers

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I love bird cams. So I was thrilled when I found out that last week the Cornell Lab of Ornithology started broadcasting the West Texas Hummingbirds cam again!

The West Texas Hummers cam is based out of Fort Davis, Texas. It is run by the West Texas Avian Research and sponsored by Perky-Pet. The cam site hosts 24 hummingbird feeders that are elevated at over 6,200 feet. West Texas Avian Research has been using this site for about 10 years to band and study hummingbirds that are migrating through the Davis Mountains. About a dozen of hummingbird species pass through the site during peak migration.

Some of the commonly featured birds on this cam are the Ruby-throated, Rufous, Black-chinned, Magnificent,  Calliope, Lucifer, Broad-tailed, and White-eared Hummingbirds. Rare visitors include Anna’s, Allen’s, Green Violetear, and Blue-throated Hummingbirds. You can hear other regional bird species in the background (and sometimes there are surprise visitors). Most of the time the cam is fixed on one feeder, but sometimes they change the angle so you can see more. If you want to watch the cam (which I highly recommend, of course) you can find it at the Cornell Lab’s Bird Cams page or just click here.

west texas hummers 7-11
An almost full feeder (Image via West Texas Hummers Twitter)

Here are 10 interesting facts about hummingbirds.

  • The heart rate of an average hummingbird is over 1,200 beats per minute!
  • Their feet are so tiny that they can’t walk on the ground, they can only perch.
  • Hummingbirds can beat their wings 60 to 200 times per second.
  • Hummingbirds are only found in the Western Hemisphere from southeastern Alaska to southeastern Chile. They are mainly found in the tropics. 16 species of hummingbirds breed in the United States, but other species considered vagrant will visit as well.
  • There are over 320 species of Hummingbirds.
  • Hummingbirds go into a state of torpor at night, where they lower their metabolism to 1/15 of normal. Their body temperature drops and their heart rate lowers to just a few beats per minute.
  • The smallest Hummingbird in the world is the Bee Hummingbird, which weighs only 2.2 grams.
  • Hummingbirds can fly between 25-35 miles per hour and up to 60 miles per hour in a fast dive.
  • They can fly in any direction, and are the only bird that can fly backwards.
  • Hummingbirds need to consume 50% of their body weight in nectar per day.

Do you see Hummingbirds in your area? What’s your favorite Hummingbird species? Tell me in the comments.

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Author: BirdNation

I am an avid birder, teacher, and nature lover. I primarily birdwatch throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.

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