Animals -> Birds -> Other Birds -> Hummingbirds


Special arrows were used on hummingbirds. The heads of the arrows were blunt, as was common for all arrows used on small birds, and the ends were shredded so that they may be brushed out in flight [1]. Among the Kalispel, young boys used bows and arrows to shoot hummingbirds [2], likely to have included Rufous Hummingbirds and Calliope Hummingbirds. Red Earth Cree children would also kill hummingbirds, likely to have been Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, that they would bring them home to be cooked by their mothers [3].


1.         Duff W: The Upper Stalo Indians of the Fraser Valley, British Columbia. Victoria,B.C.: British Columbia Provincial Museum; 1952.

2.         Walker Jr. DE (ed.): Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 12: Plateau. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution; 1998.

3.         Meyer D: Appendix I: Plants, Animals and Climate; Appendix IV: Subsistence-Settlement Patterns. In: The Red Earth Crees, 1860-1960. Volume 1st edition, edn.: National Musem of Man Mercury Series; 1985: 175-185-200-223.

Hummingbirds are the smallest of all birds, most species measuring less than 5 cm long. They are very fast and agile flyers, with extremely rapid wing beats, and are named after the humming sound made by their rapidly-beating wings. Hummingbirds are glossy coloured and they all feed on flower nectar with their fine, long bill [1]. In North America, species of hummingbirds include Rufous Hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) [2] and Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope) [3] in western states and provinces, and the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) [4] in eastern states and provinces.


1.         Harrison CJO: Bird families of the world. Oxford, England: Elsevier-Phaidon; 1978.

2.         Healy S, Calder WA: Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus). In: The Brids of North America Online. Edited by Poole A. Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; 2006.

3.         Calder WA, Calder LL: Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope). In: The Birds of North America Online. Edited by Poole A. Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; 1994.

4.         Robinson TR, Sargent RR, Sargent MB: Ruby-thoated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). In: The Birds of North America Online. Edited by Poole A. Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; 1996.


Distribution maps provided below, unless otherwise stated, were obtained from Birds of North America Online, maintained by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and all pictures provided below were obtained from Encyclopedia of Life
Rufous Hummingbird
© Jerry Oldenettel
Supplier: Flickr: EOL Images
Photographer: Jerry Oldenettel
Calliope Hummingbird
Supplier: Wikimedia Commons
Photographer: Kati Fleming
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
© bitslammer
Supplier: Flickr: EOL Images
Photographer: bitslammer


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