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Perched and Alert
What do hummers do when not eating? Mostly they sit on tiny branches or wires. They look like they're resting, but their bodies are busy digesting. A hummingbird has a tiny stomach and crop (the little storage pouch in their esophagus). Once these are full, the hummer can't eat any more until the crop is about half empty again. Hummingbirds digest their food very quickly. It takes about four minutes to drain about half the nectar into the stomach and intestines. It takes about 10 minutes for a fruit fly to pass through a hummingbird from one end to the other. Their eyes and minds are also busy — noticing everything going on around them, including other hummers!

"During the past week we believe our resident male Kamikaze has left, but now a new male has his place. He perches in many different places ready to attack both birds and sometimes even the wasps."

Tommy & Shawana Heidelberg, Park Forest, IL (September 7, 2013)

Hummingbird perched on twig
Photo: Suzanne M. of Winnipeg, Manitoba


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