I can remember sitting on the back porch of my parents’ home watching the hummingbirds feed. It often seemed that the hummingbirds would never stop eating and my mom and I would often wonder if the hummingbirds would overeat. I have since learned that although hummingbirds do eat a great deal, about five to eight times and hour, they do not eat until they are fill at every opportunity. I have also discovered a great deal else about the importance of proper hummingbird feeding that I’d like to share with you.
Mom, the hummingbird will use an enormous amount of energy each day and will therefore require one and one half times its body weight in nectar to meet its daily energy needs. The nectar on which the hummingbird feeds will be digested in only 20 minutes and pass entirely through the hummingbird’s digestive system. With the enormous amount of fluid that a hummingbird will intake each day, a hummingbird’s daily urine output may exceed 80 percent of its body weight per day.
So mom, even though it often appeared that the hummingbirds would overeat, I now understand that this isn’t going to occur because of the enormous amount of energy that the hummingbird must expend, how quickly the nectar is digested and the amount of urine that is excreted per day.