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( Originally Published 1894 )
There are hundreds of kinds of Humming Birds, nearly all of them natives of America, where they frequent the gardens, and sip the honey from the honeysuckle and other plants, like the hive and humble bee. The humming bird is several times larger than the latter, but flies so swiftly as almost to elude the sight. Its wings, when it is balancing over the flower, produce a humming sound, from which it takes its name. It is the smallest of the feathered race, and is one of the most beautiful in the elegance of its form, and the glossy brilliancy of its delicate plumage. Small as it is, however, it is exceedingly courageous, and has violent passions. The length of this bird is three inches; it lives partly on honey obtained from flowers, but devours also great quanitities of very small insects. The general colour is a rich golden green on the upper parts; the breast and neck are of a dusky white. Its nest is very small, and is elegantly lined with the down of the mullein. It is covered on the outside with moss, to imitate the colour of the limb on which it is built.