With Abby in town, we set up a visit to Yerette, the home of Theo and Gloria Ferguson, a Trini couple that have a VERY cool hummingbird sanctuary. It turns out that Trinidad is the home of the hummingbird.
Theo and Gloria have transformed their home gardens into a haven for hummingbirds. They've planted shrubs/flowers to attract the wee little birds, and have about 50 feeders scattered around the small property to feel the birds. Upon our arrival, we were immediately bombarded by dozens of flying acrobats.
We learned tons of amazing hummy facts:
- they are the only birds that can fly backwards, straight up, straight down and hover
- depending on the refraction of light, a hummingbird will appear very different colours
- they have to eat 1-2 times their body weight in nectar per day to get enough energy to sustain themselves
- their pee is odourless and colourless (a blessing according to Theo if it lands on you)
- the resting heart rate of a hummingbird is 500-600 beats per minutes - a human's is 60ish
- the flying heart rate of a hummingbird is 1200 bpm - WOW
- no surprise the heart of the hummingbird is 4 times bigger than a human heart compared to its body size
Check out the pictures in the gallery Paul managed to take. It really doesn't capture the essence of the visit, but trust me, it was very awe inspiring!