“G” Challenge: Graceful

Graceful Flight
Graceful Flight, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  Click on photo to enlarge.

astonishing feats
delivered with stylish poise
hummingbird flight

I’ve spent more time recently watching hummingbirds.  I’m amazed by the extent of power and stamina in such a small creature, and their constant, gracefulness.  Even the quick movements, fighting, and threat displays seem to maintain unbroken elegance.

Some basic information about hummingbirds:

  • They are the tiniest birds in the world
  • More than 300 types of hummingbirds exist
  • Their brains are proportionately the largest in the bird kingdom
  • Have an average heart rate above 1,200 beats per minute
  • Are one of most aggressive bird species
  • Are the only birds that can fly backwards and upside down
  • Can move instantaneously in any direction
  • Flap their wings in the shape of a figure eight (infinity symbol)
  • Are built for power – 30% of their weight consists of flight muscles
  • Flight speed can average 25-30 mph and can dive up to 60 mph
  • Have weak feet and do not walk or hop
  • May have to visit 1,000 flowers each day for fuel
  • Eat insects and spiders for protein
  • Need to consume about ½ its weight in sugar daily
  • Females are usually larger than the males
  • Males are not involved in raising young
  • Migrate alone rather in flocks
  • Some migrate impressive distances – up to 500 miles nonstop over the Gulf of Mexico, which would require almost doubling their weight before migration
  • Rufous hummingbirds have the longest migration of any hummingbird species, traveling over 3,000 miles from Mexico to Alaska

This is for the letter “G” Story Challenge by Frizztext, to share a short story or reflection, even an aphorism using a word tagged with each letter of the alphabet.

Also linking up with:



114 responses to ““G” Challenge: Graceful

  1. Great photo! As a camera newbie, I’ve been trying to take some hummingbird photos of my own but can’t get my camera to focus on their speedy wings! Would love to know more details on how you got this shot!

    • Hi loriography! Thanks for your visit and nice comment. I have practiced a LOT and am continually practicing, but I focused on the bird on the feeder since it wasn’t moving around as much. I often use continuous shooting with birds after I’ve focused on one. Usually the other birds in my photo end up blurred, but I got lucky on this one. I was pleased they both came out clear.

  2. An amazing photo. It’s hard to capture a hummingbird in flight but you did an excellent job with both birds in focus while everything else blurred. Your information was great and I learned a lot. Thanks for sharing.


  3. I am so amazed at your ability to capture hummingbirds in photos, given how swift their movements are! They are amazing little creatures, aren’t they?

    Thanks for linking up with Windows on Wildlife this week!

    • They are quite a challenge for sure! At first I couldn’t get any photo that was in focus, but with lots of practice, I’m getting more that are clear. Thanks for the nice comment!

  4. I love hummingbirds. Not only are they beautiful, but my grandmother loved them so much and they always remind me of her. She was a wonderful lady! Thanks!

  5. Beautiful and absolutely amazing.
    I think this is the best shot of hummingbirds I’ve seen on any blog or photographic forum I follow.
    Well done !

    • Wow, that is such a wonderful compliment, Victoria! Thank you sooooo much! It’s fun to try and photograph them, and I welcome the challenge. They are amusing little creatures.

  6. I love to sit and watch them..they are so amazing and to think of that migration..reminds me I need to clean and refill the feeders..they only last 4 days in this heat before getting moldy…Michelle

    • Yes, I could watch them for a long time. They are very meditative. There are so many of them that they empty the feeders within a couple of days. They will need to bulk up for that long migration.

    • I was wondering about you, Christine. I’m so glad you checked in. Thanks much for the nice comment, and wishing you continued healing. Rest those hands. The blogging world will still be here when you heal.

  7. Pingback: Windows on Wildlife: Alike, Yet Not Alike : Withywindle Nature

  8. Pingback: Nature Notes (#172)~What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. ~John Steinbeck « ~RAMBLING WOODS~

Thanks so much for your comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s