A small nectar-feeding tropical American bird that is able to hover and fly backwards, and typically has colourful iridescent plumage.
- Family Trochilidae: many genera and numerous species
- Without the ability to hover, hummingbirds would not be able to obtain nectar from flowers.
- Like other birds, hummingbirds communicate through both auditory and visual signals.
- The principal characteristic that sets hummingbirds apart from all other birds is their mode of flight.
Mid 17th century: so named because of the humming sound produced by the rapid vibration of the bird's wings.
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