Jessica Pollock, a research biologist with the Intermountain Bird Observatory, recently published an article for The Conversation’s series, Curious Kids, about the diets of hummingbirds, titled “Curious kids: Why don’t hummingbirds get fat or sick from drinking sugary nectar?”
An excerpt of the article reads: “If you have a hummingbird feeder filled with sugar water, you might have the impression that all that hummingbirds need to live a healthy life is to sip sweet drinks all day long.
Believe it or not, these tiny birds need other types of fuel as well. While sugar makes up a large component of their diet, they also need proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals to be healthy. Their largest source of protein is from eating insects. If you watch hummingbirds near your feeders, you might get to see them do some erratic, zigzag flying – this is how they catch small insects flying through the air.”