Ecuador: Land of Hummingbirds

In News Article by Matt Shetzer

When people first learn about Shetzer’s photography’s hummingbird workshop, they are often curious why Ecuador was chosen as the spot to learn how to photograph hummingbirds. Simply put, there’s just no other place like it.

Ecuador holds the world record for the number of hummingbird species that can be found in one country. One hundred and thirty two species of hummingbirds have been spotted here – which represents almost half of all hummingbirds found worldwide.

Booted Racket-tail HummingbirdIt’s not just hummingbirds that make Ecuador special. Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet. This is due not only to its tropical climate, but also because of the many different habitats that can be found within the country – which is about the size of Colorado. Ecuador has been called the nature lover’s dream come true.

The amazingly ecologically diverse country of Ecuador has become known as the “land of hummingbirds.” The brightly colored, highly distinctive birds flourish here, from the lowlands near sea-level to the high altitude regions of the Andes.

The highly adaptable little birds have learned how survive in the high mountain climates by going into a state of torpor at night, diminishing their heart rate and dropping body temperature by 25 degrees Celsius to conserve energy in the cold and often freezing nights.

Here’s a few more interesting tidbits about this wonderfully unique species of birds.

  • Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly both forward and backwards. They can also hover in mid-air, fly sideways and even upside-down.
  • Hummingbirds visit an average of 1,000 flowers each day for nectar.
  • Hummingbirds are the tiniest birds in the world.
  • Hummingbirds can see further and hear better than humans.
  • The hummingbird’s feet are used for perching only, and are not used for hopping or walking.
  • Hummingbirds do not drink though their beaks like a straw. They lap up nectar with their tongues.
  • A hummingbird’s brain comprises 4.2 percent of its total body weight. Percentage wise, this gives hummingbirds the largest brains of all birds.
  • Hummingbirds’ wings beat about 60-80 times per second, and can increase to up to 200 times per second during courtship dives.

To learn more about our Hummingbird workshops, please click HERE

Ecuador: Land of Hummingbirds was last modified: January 24th, 2016 by Matt Shetzer