Who does not know them – the small, iridescent hummingbirds, which flap their wings faster than our eyes can see. In the new “Hummingbird House” at Weltvogelpark Walsrode, visitors can observe the fascinating life of these birds. Hummingbirds live in southern North America, Central America and South America, and because of their exceptional beauty and special flight characteristics, are considered to be jewels in the world of birds. With a high frequency of 10-80 wing beats per second and the ability to fly backwards and sideways, the flight of a hummingbird is fascinating to watch. Hummingbirds can even hover in the air like a helicopter while taking nectar from a flower.
Hummingbirds have special environmental requirements that makes it very difficult to keep and breed them. Therefore these birds are not represented in most zoological institutions- only a few European zoos have hummingbirds and even fewer show them to the visitors. Since the end of 2011, some of these extremely sensitive birds have been living in Weltvogelpark Walsrode in a special breeding center behind the scenes, where they are observed and cared for around the clock.
Now, just in time for our 50th anniversary, these amazing birds can also enchant our visitors. The Green-tailed Trainbearer (Lesbia nuna) and the Amazilia Hummingbird (Amazilia amazilia) can now be found in the visitor area of the new Hummingbird-house. The Green-tailed Trainbearer lives at heights up to 3,800 m abovel sea level in western South America. Although males and females are both green in color, only the male has a long (10 to 12 cm) forked tail. This species is seen very rarely in European zoos, and only in Weltvogelpark Walsrode within Germany. The Amazilia Hummingbird inhabits steppes or deserts with thorn bushes in western South America, but is also found in populated areas, even in urban parks and gardens. Males and females are similar in appearance.