The creatures of the earth receive at birth a heartbeat allowance. Shrew, blue whale, hummingbird—all receive just about the same number: a few billion, let’s say. It’s all about how they spend them: the hearts of smaller animals beat terrifically quickly.
Among the great marvels of the animal world is the whizzing hummingbird. It weighs a few grams, it lives two or three years, and its wings move more quickly than our eyes can register, with its heart nearly keeping pace.
How does it do it? Sugar. But the flower nectar all hummingbirds lap up with their long tongues can’t answer all of the bird’s metabolic needs, so they also consume plenty of insects, generally the ones they find near nectaries.
Flowers produce nectar in order to attract pollinators, and this is a task hummingbirds perform brilliantly—their iridescent plumage is often dusted with pollen from a dozen or more different flower species.
Contains five each of the following four notecards: Purple-throated mountain gem (male) perched on flower, Central Valley, Costa Rica, photograph by Rolf Nussbaumer; Broad-tailed hummingbird (male) feeding on nectar of desert penstemon, New Mexico, photograph by Tim Fitzharris; White-necked Jacobin hummingbird (male) feeding at hibiscus flower, Caribbean, photograph by Kim Taylor; and Purple-throated mountain gem hummingbird (female), Costa Rica, photograph by Thomas Marent. Click on the small picture to see the notecards.
Cards are printed with soy-based ink on recycled paper. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this product supports Sierra Club’s efforts to preserve and protect the planet.