Someone just told us that hummingbirds only live six weeks. We had always thought they lived a lot longer, something like a chicken or a Jon Crow. So we thought we would go and do some reading about them and were pleased to find that they live a lot longer, perhaps as long as 5 to 7 years, although many do die in their first year.

So this Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises post will be about hummingbirds, to celebrate their beauty and how they can remind us to enjoy the little things in life that make up the big picture.

Image: Juvenile Doctor Bird also called Red-billed streamertail (Trochilus polytmus) feeding, photo by Charles Sharp, Sharp Photograpy via Wiki Commons.

Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises, more on hummingbirds

hummingbird2Here is something else we at Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises did not know, they are New World birds, and are among the smallest in the world. Of course they are known as hummingbirds because of the sound their tiny wings make as they hover in the air to sip nectar from a flower. Their wings vibrate at fifty times a second, so don’t think we can call that flapping.

A hummingbird can fly as fast as 54 km/h or 34 mph, backwards as well as forwards and their heart rate can reach a rate of 1 260 beats per minute.

Worldwide there are around 340 species, they feed on nectar and insects and build their nests with spider silk and lichen.

Image: Jamaican mango (Anthracothorax mango) taken by Charles Sharp, Sharp Photography via Wiki Commons.

Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises, one more note on hummingbirds

hummingbird3Amazingly, their brilliant colors mostly come not from pigments in the feathers but from the prism-like cells in the structure of the top layers. This is what causes the hummingbird’s iridescent colors to change as it hovers.

If you are living in the ‘New World’ and want to attract hummingbirds to your garden you can feed them sugar water in a feeder. Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises heard that red feeders are preferred and we were all relieved to discover the tiny birds only hover and fly looking for nectar or insects only ten percent of the time and the rest is used up in resting and digesting.

Just don’t forget that hummingbirds, like bees, pollinate flowers, so perhaps they should only be fed if flowers are scarce.

Now, enough about hummingbirds, its time to book a boat cruise in Ocho Rios with Cool Runnings Catamaran Cruises.

Image: Vervain hummingbird, (Mellisuga minima), taken by Charles Sharp, Sharp Photography via Wiki Commons

Thank you Wikipedia for the information and the photos in this post.

All hummingbirds in this post can be found in Jamaica.