Anna’s hummingbird (formally Calypte anna) is a small bird native to the west coast of North America. They average about four inches long (~10cm) with a wingspan of 4.7 inches (12cm).
Some fun facts about the Anna’s hummingbird:
- It was named after Anna Masséna, Duchess of Rivoli.
- Anna’s hummingbirds can shake their bodies 55 times per second to shed rain while in flight. Each twist lasts four-hundredths of a second and applies 34 times the force of gravity on the bird’s head.
- During the breeding season, males can be observed performing an aerial display dive over their territories. When a female flies onto a male’s territory, the male rises up about 130 ft (40 m) before diving over the female. As the male approaches the bottom of the dive, it reaches an average speed of 27 m/s (89 ft/s), which is 385 body lengths per second. At the bottom of the dive, the male produces an audible sound produced by the tail feathers, described by some as an “explosive squeak.”
- In the 2017 Vancouver Official City Bird Election, Anna’s hummingbird was named the official bird of the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Birds are neat!