The Buff-bellied Hummingbird breeds near the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, from south Texas to Mexico. It is probably the least-studied hummingbird that regularly occurs in the United States. The wings of a Buff-bellied hummingbird allow it to do something no other bird can do. They can rotate their wings in a circle, allowing them to fly forward, backward, up, down, sideways, hover in one spot, or even fly upside down. They use their long, extendible, straw-like tongues to retrieve the nectar while hovering with their tails cocked upward as they are licking at the nectar up to 13 times per second. Humming birds eat nectar, pollen and insects.
The female alone protects and feeds the chicks with regurgitated food. The female pushes the food down the chicks’ throats with her long bill directly into their stomachs.
To conserve energy at night when they are not feeding, their bodies go into a state of torpor (temporary or semi-hibernation). These birds may even stop breathing for periods of time. This allows them to use up to 50 times less energy than they would need during their daytime activities. Their feet are weak and are only used for perching.
Want to learn more about Buff-bellied Hummingbirds or other native South Texas animals? Call to schedule a private one-of-a-kind outdoor Sculpture Trail Tour and develop an appreciation for the vast variety of creatures that call our region home. Each sculpture provides insight into the natural history of the Rio Grande Valley. At each turn of a trail, there’s a new creature to discover.
Call us at 956-681-3370 for more information.