Curaçao’s beloved Blenchi (Chlorostilbon mellisugus, blue-tailed emerald hummingbird) is only 8 cm (3 inches) long and that includes its notorious 0.7 inch bill. But don’t be fooled by its small size: it’s a mighty fierce little bird! The male Blenchi is magnificently glittering green (emerald), while the female is slightly duller grayish color. Blenchis sip nectar from flowers and carry pollen to other flowers, hence the popular children’s song in Papiamentu (Blenchi ta chupa flor). And if you ask visual artist Ethanie Martina, they make excellent Carnival costumes. “The girls could dress up as gorgeous Curaçao flowers (bougainvilleas, fayalobis, korona di labírgen, etc) and the guys would all be Blenchis, pointing their long bills at the flowers throughout the parade! (…)”
Some Hummingbird trivia courtesy of Hummingworld.com:
- The Hummingbird is the smallest of all species of birds in the world; the young offspring are no bigger than a penny.
- The name of ‘Hummingbird’ stems from the fact that these birds make a humming sound when their wings are in movement.
- The wings of the Hummingbird can move up to 80 times per second. But when a male is trying to impress a female that can increase up to 200 times per second.
- This is the only species of bird that has the ability to fly in all directions. They are able to fly backwards, forwards, upside down, and even side ways.
- The Hummingbird has no sense of smell; they seem to be attracted to the colors of plants and flowers. Red is the dominant color that they are attracted to.