Hummingbird Food

The Appetite of a Hummingbird

Hummingbirds are very small bird with a large appetite. The amount of nectar that a hummingbird must intake each day is dependent on a number of factors including activity level, air temperature, quality of available resources, and time of year. The hummingbird will require one and a half times its body weight in nectar to meet its daily energy needs.

In their quest for nectar, they will visit 1000 flowers per day and they usually feed between six and eight times in an hour, but each feeding usually last less then 30 seconds in length. The hummingbird can digest nectar very rapidly and efficiently. The nectar will pass entirely through the hummingbird’s digestive system in less than 20 minutes! 

Due to the large amount of fluid a hummingbird will intake each day, a hummingbird’s daily urine output may exceed 80 percent of its body weight, whenever nectar is found to be plentiful.

 According to the San Diego Zoo website, hummingbirds consume between 3.14 and 7.6 calories per day. I don’t know about you but I find that fact absolutely astonishing! Humans are said to consume approximately 3,500 calories per day. If humans had the metabolism of a hummingbird it would be necessary for us to consume approximately 155,000 calories per day. That’s about 77 times as much as most humans eat. The hummingbird’s need to consume such a vast amount of calories is due to their high heart rate and small body size.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *