There are many reasons why the ruby-throated hummingbird is such an amazing bird. For example, no other backyard bird is capable of performing the aerial fetes routinely carried out by this master of flight. In spite of its performance in the air, it simply cannot walk a step. At best, the bird can only shuffle its feet sideways.
The ruby-throated hummingbird’s legs and feet are both extremely small. In fact they are so small, the only time the vast majority of us ever seen them is when a hummingbird is perched on a hummingbird feeder.
A retired elementary school teacher told me that many of her young students did not believe hummingbirds possessed legs and feet. She went on to say the only way she was able to convince them otherwise was to show them the mummified body of a hummingbird that flew into her garage and died before it could be rescued.
It might seem that not being able to walk would be a hindrance. Obviously, that is not the case with rubythroats. These aerial dynamos feed primarily while remaining airborne. The only exceptions of this seem to be when they are perched at a feeder or flower petal eating nectar.
If fact, if hummingbirds were burdened with legs and feet large enough to enable them to walk or run, the added weight of the bones and muscles would undoubtedly prevent them from being true masters of the air.