THE ANSWERS MAY
W“What do hummingbirds eat?” is a question often asked of hummer enthu- siasts. It’s a simple question, and you’d
think the answer would be simple too.
But hummingbirds are an enigma.
They are among the most studied
families of birds, yet every time we
think we know all there is to know
about their habits, they do something
that flies in the face of that knowledge.
What they eat is a case in point.
Seeing hummingbirds flit from
flower to flower, early naturalists pre-
sumed the birds were getting liquid
nourishment in the form of nectar from
the blooms, just as bees do. This, they
thought, was all the birds ate.