What Bird Has the Fewest Feathers?


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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