Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hummingbirds Warn Against Unhealthy Lifestyle

Hummingbirds across the U.S. are speaking out with a very serious warning.  Eating too much sugar, they say, combined with overworking, has deleterious effects on one's physical and mental well-being. 

North American Rufous hummers were the first to break the silence.  "We flap our wings an average of 53 beats per second in order to stay airborne.  It's exhausting," said Humphrey, a male of the species.  "Not only that," he continued, "we have higher levels of hypertension than most other birds." 

Inspired by the Rufous hummers, other species soon began to issue similar statements.  Heather, a Blue Throated hummingbird, had this to say, "One thing most people don't know about us is that we are sugar fiends.  We reject flower nectar that has less than a 10% sugar content in favor of the sweeter nectars."  What is the effect of ingesting so much sugar?  "For one thing, our little hearts beat 1260 times per minute, putting us at increased risk for anxiety, dizziness, and fainting spells. We also contend with high rates of diabetes.  Take it from us," Heather concluded, "a healthy diet low in sugar is better for you."

Hector, a Black-chinned male hummer, told a moving story about his own battle with anxiety and insomnia.  "After a day of eating sugar and flapping my wings thousands of times," he began, "I can't relax when it's time to go to sleep.  I go through the motions of getting ready for bed, but when I lay down, my adrenaline is still pumping and my thoughts are racing a mile a minute.  I'm thinking about what tomorrow's nectar will be like or worrying about whether it'll rain.  Sometimes, I count stars for hours, hoping that sleep will eventually overtake me."

The Rufous, Blue Throated, and Black-chinned hummers were not the only birds to speak out.  One by one, the press also heard from Magnificent hummingbirds, Buff-bellied hummingbirds, Lucifer hummingbirds, and Broad-billed hummingbirds. All had a similar message, "Eat healthy and slow down.  We may not have a choice, but you do!"

Written by Diana Shapiro

Photo courtesy of


  1. Love it! I love Hector, Heather, Humphrey and all the rest. You really have the touch, Diana. Keep flapping those little wings for all the rest of us!

  2. LMAO! Hummingbirds giving health advice... wicked!

  3. I say "humbug" - that's right ---those are the bugs which those voracious hummingbirds eat. Less flapping, less decimation of the humbug species .. one which will otherwise die out soon--- Alan Shapiro