To start with, all 360+ species of hummingbirds live in the Western Hemisphere. You might spot a nectar-sipping, colorful honeycreeper or sunbird on another continent, but these birds aren’t closely related to hummingbirds at all. In fact, hummingbirds’ closest genetic relatives might surprise you- they’re swifts in the order Apodiformes .
There’s so much to love about hummingbirds — from flight to feathers to feisty attitudes. You can learn more about what sets hummingbirds apart in a Bird Academy video from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “What Makes Hummingbirds Special” video, part of the free preview of the upcoming course, The Wonderful World of Hummingbirds.
Feeding Hummingbirds can be a great way to bring them to your outdoor space, but there’s more to attracting hummingbirds than you might think. You can explore the details of feeder types, nectar recipes, feeder maintenance, and other things you can do to attract and protect hummingbirds in a downloadable guide, illustrated by Liz Clayton Fuller.
Photo of Golden-tailed Sapphire courtesy Cornell Lab of Ornithology.