Hummingbirds are captivating animals, not only because of their incredibly fast wingbeats, but also because they have one of the highest-known metabolisms of any other animal on Earth.
Having such a high metabolism, hummingbirds must eat continuously throughout the day. In some cases, a hummingbird will visit thousands of flowers each day to feed on the nectar inside. Without this sustainment, a hummingbird would run out of energy and quickly starve.
Ecuador’s vast forest cover provides an excellent habitat for hummingbirds because it offers protection from predators and a large assortment of flowers to snack on. Unfortunately, this region is also prone to rainfall, which can cause significant problems for hungry hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds don’t weigh very much, and consequently, this means water droplets can slow them down substantially. When a hummingbird is hungry and low on energy, rain can cause the bird to expend more energy to sustain its flight, exacerbating the starvation process.
In a world where only the fittest survive, you can only imagine what this means for humble hummingbirds…