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in Brief

I Didn't Know That...

October 12, 2000

Q: If hummingbirds drink only nectar from flowers, where do they get the proteins, trace elements and other dietary components necessary for life?

A: Contrary to popular opinion, hummingbirds consume more than nectar. Although hummingbirds are famous for drinking nectar, they also eat soft-bodied insects and spiders, which provide them with all the nutrition they need. They catch insects while flying or pick them off plants or webs. The nectar is a high-calorie drink that provides energy for flying.

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