‹‹ Colorado Postcards


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Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
A hummingbird perches above the Denver Audubon Nature Center south of the Chatfield Reservoir. May 12, 2021.

With tiny wings zinging 70 times a second, a hummingbird makes a familiar sound in Colorado's late summer. Hummingbirds are the smallest birds on earth – nature's diminutive stunt pilots, one moment zipping along at 60 mph; the next, hovering in place to sip from a delicate flower.

Colorado’s most common one is the Broad-tailed hummingbird, and like the rest of its family, it also eats insects – even small bugs stolen from a spider's web, if not also the spider itself. But it's hummingbirds’ affinity with flowers that keeps them going, with their specialized tongues and slender bills to access nectar and feeders full of sugar water. That’s the fuel they need to stay aloft, to keep their mighty, miniscule hearts thumping at up to 1200 beats per minute and to make an annual migration as far south as Guatemala when Colorado days and nights grow cold again.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.