Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at 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.

Maggie goes places and talks to people. Find out where she'll be speaking next.

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.

Leave a Reply