If you have observed hummingbirds for very long, you may think that hummingbirds eat constantly. This simply is not true. Here is an explanation of the feeding habits of the hummingbird.
Hummingbirds do eat quite frequently but not constantly, due to the fact that the hummingbird possesses an extremely high metabolic rate. It is this rapid metabolic rate that allows the hummingbird to digest nectar very rapidly and efficiently, and thus enables the nectar to pass entirely through the hummingbird’s digestive system in less than 20 minutes! The activity level of the hummingbird requires that they continually refuel or they would not be able do all that they do.
A hummingbird will feed between 6-8 times per hour with each feeding only lasting about 30 seconds in length. Which is why during daylight hours, the hummingbird will eat frequently for short periods of time and thus it may appear as though they are eating constantly.
At night, the hummingbird will eat as heavily as the nectar supply will allow to ensure that it will survive its overnight fast while maintaining its normal resting metabolic rate. To accomplish this, the hummingbird may store a third of its weight in nectar.
Hummingbirds must eat properly to ensure their very survival, so now maybe you understand more about their need to eat as they do.