Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.

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3 Responses to “The cool science behind a really cute video of a "snoring" hummingbird”

  1. merreborn says:

    From wikipedia: “Hummingbirds are continuously hours away from starving to death, and are able to store just enough energy to survive overnight”
    Strange, beautiful creatures.

  2. awjt says:

    Last year I found an undeveloped, juvenile, ruby-throated hummingbird sitting, breathing heavily on my driveway.  It looked seriously dehydrated.  He had the beginnings of a red throat, so I named him Albert.  I gently picked him up and set him on an interior branch in a bush, nearby, so he’d be off the driveway and camouflaged.  Then I went inside and whipped up a quick sugar solution in a plastic soda cap.  I tried to give it to him, but he didn’t know what to do. I even stuck his beak in it, but nothing.  Then, I got a drop on my fingertip and held it out so he could see it glisten.  He began to lap at it with quick flashes of his strange tongue.  I had never felt a hummingbird tongue before. It was weird. The kids were excited to see me feeding a hummingbird. I put a few droplets around the bush near him and left the cap on the ground.  He hung around for another day, then was gone.  When I last saw him, he was looking more alert and trying to flex his wings.  I like to assume he just needed a boost and was on his merry way.  Good luck, Al, wherever you are.

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