Unlike most other birds that just poop, hummingbirds pee. A LOT. They need to do this because they drink so much nectar, or sugar water from flowers 2 to 3 times their weight every day.

Hummingbirds use up energy so quickly that if an average human used energy as fast as they do, the human would need to eat 600 packets of potato chips a day to survive (when they would normally need about 15).

Hummingbirds are the only birds in the world that can fly backwards, in addition to flying forwards and hovering in one place.

Their wings are structured very differently from other birds, allowing them to hover by moving them in a figure-8 pattern.

Hummingbird wings can beat as fast as 80 times a second. Their hearts can beat more than 1000 times a minute. Your heart normally beats about 70 times a minute.

Time must seem very different to hummingbirds, compared to us. Their bodies (especially their heart, wings, and lungs) work so fast that their brains have to send signals for their wings to move backwards when the wings are only just starting to move forwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anusha Shankar is a National Geographic Explorer and a post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. For her PhD from Stony Brook University, New York, she studied how American and Ecuadorian hummingbirds manage their limited energy.

Roshini Pochont After realising that her love for words and images could converge in illustration, Roshini made the jump from literature and journalism to study graphic design at the National Institute of Design. She is an illustrator and visual designer with a love for picture books, beautiful imagery, vintage ephemera, and all things handmade.

 

 

 

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