This is the commonest hummingbird of the islands. The larger Green-throated hummingbird has no crest. In Antigua, the name ‘Doctor Brushy’ is given.
Because of their size, hummingbirds have the highest rate of metabolism (‘burning’ of food) of a warm-blooded vertebrate in the world.
As a result, they have to feed nearly all day long. They have long curved beaks with which they probe into flowers for nectar and fertilizing the flower at the same time. Besides flower nectar, Hummingbirds feed on insects, mainly from the plants they visit.
The best place to watch hummingbirds is on a flowering Dagger Tree. The female builds a small nest that is lined with cobwebs or some other fluff. Two very small white eggs are laid. These smallest of birds can live up to at least 10 years (if a picture window does not get in their way!).
Special thanks to the late Desmond Nicholson of the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda and Peter Duce for making this section of Antigua Nice Ltd possible!