Of birds I’m the smallest in all of the world
And my eggs are the smallest as well
My fast-beating wings are always unfurled
They’re seldom allowed time to spell.
I fly forwards and backwards and sideways as well
Upside-down you can see me at work
I drink from the flowers but have no sense of smell
You wouldn’t call that such a perk.
I remember each bloom and where it did lurk
And soon as I drink I start countin’
To measure the time to return and not shirk
When that flower has refilled its fountain.
I build my nest high in forest or mountain
All velvety soft and elastic
It’s built of plant fibres, of twigs and of leaf
Bound with pure spidersilk – nothing plastic!
My nest stretches wide as I lay – fantastic!
They’re the tiniest eggs you can find
I mostly lay two, for more could be drastic
These two hungry beaks are born bald and blind.
Keeping two well-fed is a hard daily grind
A relentless search for good nectar
When I built my nest I was keeping in mind
The real need to find food in my sector.
As chicks grow big I become the collector
Using the tiny hairs on my tongue
From the reddest blossoms I steal the nectar
To nourish best healthy growth in my young.
As mother, my efforts by others, unsung,
My wings sing with constant vibration
Eighty times each second, that’s really high-strung –
Beautiful iridescent creation.
We’re tiny and bright and love admiration
Our pure beauty is known to disarm
No wonder then we discover causation:
Our Collective noun – a Hummingbird Charm.
A Charm of Hummingbirds, a wonderful scene
Fluttering, swift, by our eyes unseen
Such beauty born size of a tiny wee bean
Nature’s best gift’s in the Hummingbird seen.
In how many directions can a Hummingbird fly?
What is the Hummingbird’s nest made of?
What is unique about the nest?
What colour flower attracts most attention from the Hummingbird?
What is the Collective noun for Hummingbirds?
How many times a second does the wing of the Hummingbird beat?
80 times a second is too fast for the human eye to see.
Has anyone noticed the rhyming pattern of each verse?
ABAB BCBC CDCD DEDE EFEF FGFG GHGH HIHI IJIJ
With the final verse KKKK.
Has anyone counted the beats to each line of each verse?
11 9 11 10
Explain that rhyming poetry is often written to specific structures of rhymes and beats to the line.
Information not included in the verse:
There are 300 different species of Hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds have brilliant iridescent feathers,
Being the smallest bird in the world it’s often mistaken for an insect.
Each bird needs to drink its weight in nectar every day, the hairs at the end of the tongue help to drain all the nectar from each flower.
The bird knows how long it will take for that nectar to be replaced in each blossom and returns the drink again.
This also performs the task of pollination for the flowers.
Hummingbirds seldom rest, their average heart rate is 1200 beats per minute – the average heart rate for a 12 year old person is 55 to 85 beats per minute! The Hummingbird when resting takes 250 breaths per minute – the average 12 year old person takes between 18 and 30 breaths per minute.
Hummingbird wings beat up to 80 times a second!!!
Their legs are so tiny and weak that they can’t support the weight of the bird – that’s why they hover.
All this – and they can build their nests in trees up to 27 metres high.
Only a few make vocal sounds – mostly their sound is created by the vibration of their wings and tail feathers.
Hummingbirds, surprisingly are very aggressive towards each other when competing for food.