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Hummingbirds (Trochilidae)

  1. William A Calder

Published Online: 21 NOV 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0003432



How to Cite

Calder, W. A. 2001. Hummingbirds (Trochilidae). eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 NOV 2001


The hummingbirds (of order Apodiformes) are very small birds, mostly with iridescent plumage. Their ‘wrist and hand’ wing articulation derives lift on both the up- and down-strokes, permitting stationary, upward and reverse hovering. They subsist on flower nectar, tree sap and small insects.


  • Aves;
  • Apodiformes;
  • smallest birds;
  • pollinators;
  • nectarivores;
  • coevolution;
  • hovering flight;
  • metabolism;
  • energetics