Search of the Week: “are humming birds cold blooded”

One reason I like WordPress so much is that it allows me to monitor not only how many people are visiting my blog but how they find it. Some pretty interesting searches bring people to Life, Birds, & Everything, so I thought I’d highlight one of these every now and then (hopefully weekly).

This week’s featured search is a question whose answer has already been alluded to in the post “Rescuing” baby hummingbirds. The full answer is more complicated, though, and here it is:

Hummingbirds hatch naked and cold-blooded (poikilothermic, body temperature dependent on the surrounding environment). They don’t become warm-blooded (homeothermic, capable of maintaining a stable body temperature regardless of environmental conditions) until their feathers mature enough to create an insulating layer over their skin. They can return to a limited form of poikilothermy as adults when they need to conserve energy, entering the state of torpor overnight or under severe stress. This qualifies hummingbirds as heterotherms.

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