This nOde last updated April 12th, 2003 and is permanently morphing...
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Any of numerous New World birds of the family Trochilidae, usually very small in size and having brilliant, iridescent plumage, a long slender bill, and wings capable of beating very rapidly, thereby enabling the bird to hover.
Hummingbird, common name for any of the more than 300 species of a family of birds of the Americas. The hummingbirds are the smallest of all birds. The smallest species is the bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae) of Cuba, which is about 5.5 cm (about 2.17 in) long.
Hummingbirds are known for their rapid wing beat and for rapid flight. Using their long, extensible tongue, hummingbirds feed on nectar and tiny insects found within flowers, while hovering in front of the flower. They are the only birds capable of flying backwards, which they do when backing away from flowers. Most hummingbirds are brightly colored and iridescent, commonly metallic green. They build small cup-shaped nests covered with lichens, spiderwebs, and small pieces of bark, saddled on a branch.
Hummingbirds occur throughout the Americas, but most species inhabit tropical South America. Of the species found in the United States, only the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) nests east of the Mississippi River. It is notable for its long-distance migration, annually flying nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico.
Scientific classification: Hummingbirds make up the family Trochilidae of the order Apodiformes.
Huitzilopochtli, in Aztec religion, god of war
and of the sun. According to tradition, he guided the Aztecs during their
migration from their mythical homeland to the valley of Mexico. Aztecs
believed that dead warriors were reborn as hummingbirds, and Huitzilopochtli
was usually depicted either as a hummingbird or as a warrior wearing hummingbird
feathers. His mother was the earth goddess Coatlicue. As the sun
god, Huitzilopochtli was born anew each morning. He was thought to require
human hearts and blood for nourishment.
wood nymph (w¢d nîmf)
1. A nymph of the forest; a dryad.
2. Any of several tropical hummingbirds of the genera Thalurania and Cyanophaia.
3. Any of various butterflies of the family Satyridae, especially Cercyonis pegala, having brownish wings with dark eyespots.
bird: exotic bird, hummingbird, sunbird, bird of paradise, lyrebird
that the universe is expanding and contracting in pulsations
of eighty billion years has a right to ask, "What's in it for me?"
Peter De Vries (1910-93), U.S. author. The narrator (Jim Tickler), in _The Glory of the Hummingbird_, ch. 1 (1939).