The Flying Golf Ball!
I wouldn’t normally double up on topics but yesterday I witnessed something that I never expected to see, a fat hummingbird. My first thought was that we have an obese, diabetic hummer. I mean they drink twice their body weight in sugar water every day. I observed our fat little hummer for a while and noticed that she sat on the feeder and was consuming an inordinate amount of nectar. Could we have an overeater?
I checked out a few websites and found this quote, “Hummingbirds get most of their energy by sipping nectar from flowers and a typical hummingbird needs 7 to 12 Kcal of energy every day. This sounds idyllic, until you do the math: it's the equivalent of a 180-pound human having to scrounge up 204,300 calories a day, or about 171 pounds of hamburgers. To keep itself alive a hummingbird must manage to find as many as 1,000 flowers and drink almost twice its weight in nectar daily.”
I also began to wonder if feeding them all this sugar water was good for them and experts say that they are specifically designed to consume large quantities of sucrose. Nutritionally, they get their fats and proteins from eating insects.
So back to the question of fat hummingbirds. It turns out that hummers, especially males, do put on extra weight in the fall but here we are in May and we have a female. Further research turned up that we have a pregnant hummingbird. But I ask, how could a bird be pregnant?
Female hummers will carry their eggs while they build their nest and during this period will "show" with a little belly. Hummingbirds lay two eggs at a time each about the size of a jelly bean. I have to imagine that with our population we have more than one pregnant hummer. The incubation period is 14-16 days and the chicks are in the nest for 3 weeks. Does this mean that in 5 weeks we could see our hummingbird population double?
That would be amazing and terrifying.