Right in my Own Backyard by Brandt Carter - Facts
posted: Jun. 18, 2020
Just as the Broad Ripple Gazette illuminates with facts, anecdotes, and interesting tales of the area, I would like to share some fascinating figures about our backyard wildlife:
- The ruby-throated hummingbird's heartbeat rate at rest is 615 beats per minute; the mourning dove's heartbeat rate at rest is 135 beats per minute.
- A hummingbird takes 250 breaths per minute.
- A ruby-throated hummingbird's wingbeat is 70 times per second; a starling's 5.1, while a mourning dove has only 2.5 wingbeats per second.
- A sharp-shinned hawk can fly 67 miles a day and up to 14.2 mph.
- A white-crowned sparrow has a repertoire of one song or theme while a cardinal has 8-12 themes in a song. A mocking bird can have 53-150 themes in its song.
- A hummingbird normally has 2 eggs in a clutch; wrens have 5-8 eggs.
- If a ruby-throated hummingbird lives past its first year, its lifespan can be as long as 5-12 years. A cardinal can live as long as 13 years, while a house wren may live only 3-7 years.
- The cardinal is our state bird and the state birds of all our bordering states except Michigan, which designates the robin as its state bird.
- The bird with the fewest feathers is the ruby-throated hummingbirds with 940.
- The red-headed woodpecker holds the physiology record for the greatest G-force. The woodpecker's beak hits a tree at 13 mph.
- 392 species of birds have been seen in Indiana.
Anna's hummingbird is the only species to produce a song.
image courtesy of Robert McMorran, United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Hopefully these curious facts will add to your storehouse of knowledge -- or help you win at trivia! It's intriguing to know more about birds just like it's fun to know more about the lore of Broad Ripple.