Hummingbirds and the Caribs

hummingbird(3)

I have just come across this tidbit of information about the Caribs and the ever-present Caribbean hummingbirds.  I have no idea if it’s true or not, but it is interesting.

Found only in the western hemisphere, there are 338 species of hummingbirds. Only 16 of these species breed in the contiguous United States. The Cuban bee hummingbird, the world’s smallest bird, weighs less than many moths.

And moths are often mistaken for hummingbirds, or hummingbirds mistaken for insects. A Taino Native American legend held that hummingbirds were originally flies, but the Sun Father transformed them into birds. This Caribbean tribe considered the hummingbird the spreader of life on the planet, owing to the hummingbirds’ role as pollinators as they drink from one flower, inadvertently collect and deliver pollen as they poke their bills into blossoms to feed.

If you are a gardener, which I am not, the article offers advice as to what to plant in your gardens if you want to attract hummingbirds. (This is advice for non-Caribbean gardeners, since in the Caribbean itself the gorgeous little birds are everywhere.) Go to http://www.examiner.com/x-11151-Denver-Flower-and-Gardening-Examiner~y2009m6d4-These-plants-attract-flowerkissing-hummingbirds

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