Insect-Hawking Hummingbirds

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Going for the kill!

Hummingbird nectar and nectar from flowers don’t make up all of a hummingbird’s diet.  A large percentage is comprised of insects and spiders, giving the tiny birds needed protein for their incredibly fast metabolism.  Their tiny wings beat about 53 times a second according to by Cornell and their hearts beat up to 1250 times a minute.  All of this energy necessitates filling up with more than their weight in food each day.  They will also visit sap wells that Sapsuckers have created when migrating in the spring and obtain sugary nourishment as well as insects that are also partaking.

You can see from the pictures, that the bird doesn’t get insects by using its bill like tweezers, but rather like a swift, it opens wide and lets the bug go fairly far in before snapping the beak shut.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Sitting like a flycatcher, waiting for prey

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Is that a spider hanging up there?

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Going for a closer look

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Getting ready to snap!

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