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Hummingbirds have the fastest metabolism of any creature on earth!

hummingbirds must eat 1.5 to 3 times their body weight daily

Hummingbirds need a lot of nectar,

but they also need protein from flies!

Hummingbirds are BIG eaters. No animal on earth has a faster metabolism - roughly one hundred times that of an elephant. Hummingbirds burn food so fast they often eat 1.5 to 3 times their body weight in food per day! In order to gather enough nectar, hummingbirds must visit hundreds of flowers every day. The get the protein, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals from eating insects.  Just one day of cold temperatures or bad luck finding flowers can mean death.

hummingbirds have an incredible tongue!

It's like a micropump

Slow-Motion reveals how Hummingbirds eat

The tongue of a hummingbird is able to lap nectar at a rate of up to 18 times per second.  The bird can extend its tongue as far as the bill is long.  The tip is forked and the tongue is rapidly extended when it reaches liquid.  This rapid movement pulls the nectar into grooves or troughs on the surface.  The tongue is then retracted and the bird actively presses downward with its upper bill and the nectar is forced down its throat.  

Where does the bird put all that tongue?  It is coiled up inside its head, around its skull and eyes!


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