Q:

What bird has the fewest feathers?

A:

Quick Answer

Depending on the bird, feathers come in all colors, shapes and sizes, and although tiny birds have tiny feathers, they aren’t as numerous as you would find on a bigger bird. The ruby-throated hummingbird has the fewest feathers, with an average of 940. By comparison, the tundra swan has over 25,000 feathers.

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What bird has the fewest feathers?
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Full Answer

Hummingbirds have the fewest feathers of all known bird species, with each hummingbird averaging between 1,000-1,500 feathers. A low feather count also means a low body weight: male ruby-throated hummingbirds typically weigh around 3.4 grams and females weigh an average of 3.8 grams. To put that in perspective, a nickel weighs about 5 grams.

Even though they weigh so little, hummingbirds are strong flyers. A quarter of a hummingbird’s total weight is in its pectoral muscles, which are the muscles primarily used in flight. The ruby-throated hummingbird gets a good workout during the spring and fall migrations when it flies 500 miles nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico.

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