Time Out from Feeding
Hummingbirds are famous for the amount of food they eat. One ornithologist calculated that they eat at least half of their body weight in sugar (not even counting the water in nectar!) every day. You'd think they'd need to spend every waking moment eating to get that amount of food, but they don't. As a matter of fact, some researchers have found that they make feeding flights 14 to 18 times every hour, and each feeding flight lasts less than a minute. Hummingbirds don't spend as much of each hour feeding as we might think.
Four Minutes From Full
Hummingbirds have 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. It takes about four minutes to drain about half the nectar into the stomach and intestines, and then the hummer takes off again.
Taking a Break
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