TIL: Hummingbirds Are the World's Hungriest Birds

You may think you eat a lot, but compared to hummingbirds ... well, there’s no comparison. Hummingbirds are the hungriest birds in the world, burning through energy extremely fast. According to animal ecologist and National Geographic grantee Anusha Shankar, a human would have to eat 300 hamburgers or a refrigerator full of food just to match the equivalent of what hummingbirds consume to survive every day. Why are hummingbirds, among the smallest and lightest of all birds, constantly seeking energy? Well, for one thing, they flap their wings at blazingly high speeds—50 to 80 times a second. Plus, their hearts beat from 500 to an unbelievable 1,200 times a minute. Most exhausting of all is their constant hovering in place as they fly, which they have to do to avoid damaging the flowers they feed from. Without food, a hummingbird can starve to death in two hours, so next time you’re hungry, be thankful it isn’t a life or death situation!

PRODUCER/EDITOR: Laurence Alexander
SERIES PRODUCER: Christopher Mattle
EDITOR: Toby Roberts