Humminbirds are always on the go. These tiny birds beat their wings up to 62 times per second and are the only birds that can fly backwards as well as sideways. Because of their small stature and high metabolism, hummingbirds have large energetic demands and must many visits to flowers throughout the day to drink nectar and fuel their fast pace of life. They can eat anywhere from 3 to 7 calories a day which may not seem that crazy until you put in perspective. For example, scaled to human proportions, that would be like us needing to eat about 155,000 calories a day just to survive! That’s the equivalent of drinking a can of coke about every minute!
Sketch by Victoria Farrar. Fact by Adrian Perez
Pearson, O.P., 1954. The daily energy requirements of a wild Anna hummingbird. The Condor, 56(6), pp.317-322.