Back to this week's update.

Perched and Plump

"We love watching the pre-migration behavior. Here's a very fat female," Kathy Hudson, grade 6 teacher at Whitinsville Christian School when she sent this photo.

"Feeding and perching...feeding and perching...been watching them all morning!" reported Cheryl in Piscataway, NJ. They probably wondered:

What do hummingbirds do they they are not eating? Mostly they sit on tiny branches or wires. It looks like they are resting, but their bodies are on guard and also busy digesting. Once a hummer's stomach and crop are full, the bird can't eat any more until the crop is about half empty again. It takes about four minutes to drain about half the nectar into the stomach and intestines, and then the hummer takes off again.

Hummingbird on branch
Photo: Kathy Hudson