Last Updated on September 29, 2022 by Guillermina
Wondering how do hummingbirds drink water? Take a look at this article as you might be surprised by the answer.
Although the smallest birds in the world, hummingbirds live at an incredible speed in every way. They perform incredible flying acrobatics, are capable of maneuvering better than any bird, can fly in all directions, and are rarely seen without a blur. They rest only when they sleep or in the birdbaths.
Speaking of birdbaths, have you ever thought about how do hummingbirds drink water?
Do Hummingbirds Drink Water?
We know that hummingbirds enjoy drinking nectar, either from flowers or from a feeder set up by humans, but do they drink water? The answer is positive, just like humans these little birds need water to stay hydrated and therefore healthy and active. Taking sufficient amounts of water helps to maintain their extremely fast metabolism as well as to regulate various processes in the body.
So, why do only a very small percentage of people know that hummingbirds drink water? It’s very simple, they are rarely seen doing this, compared to other birds. In addition, it is very important to emphasize that hummingbirds do not require the intake of enormous amounts of water, primarily because they get a lot of it from nectar.
Furthermore, considering that they spend about half of their body weight on insects and nectar, these little creatures don’t have to worry too much about finding an adequate water source at any given moment.
Therewithal, their drinking habits are not too diverse as they do not belong to the group of animals that need to drink a lot of water, however, the need for larger amounts of water increases as the period of migration and nesting begins.
Do Hummingbirds Drink Plain Water?
It is true that hummingbirds drink plain water, but actually in very small quantities and not very often. This is because, as we have already stated, they get a sufficient amount of liquid from the nectar itself.
In short, ordinary water is not their first choice, they prefer to use it for showering and refreshment on hot summer days rather than for consumption. When we look at it, we can’t help but wonder how often do birds drink water? The answer really surprised us, we would have expected that other types of birds would not often reach for water, but the truth is that most small birds have to drink water at least twice a day.
When compared to mammals, it may sound too little, but be aware of the fact that birds don’t have sweat glands, and hence there is no need to consume larger amounts of water.
Now, let’s move on to the main part of this article, where you will find out the long-awaited answer to the question “how do hummingbirds drink water”.
How Do Hummingbirds Drink Water?
Although drinking nectar is their defining characteristic until recently scientists could not explain the exact mechanism of how they do it. Fortunately, thanks to new technologies, we have finally been able to learn more about it. So click here to see how science explains this process.
Namely, these incredible creatures have skinny tongues that are about the same length as their bills. Being so long and forked, they are perfectly adapted for drinking water and nectar from even the deepest flowers.
Are you ready for a fun fact? Hummingbirds actually LICK the water. They don’t drink it as you might imagine with so-called capillary action but instead lick it. In addition, it is especially incredible to us that while drinking water, they lick the water as many as 15 TIMES within ONE SECOND. We literally have no words to describe how we felt when we first heard this info.
How To Provide Water For Hummingbirds?
Frankly speaking, adding water sources such as fountains or birdbaths are great ways to attract these birds, but not all options are equally good. Given that these are quite delicate creatures, they need special consideration for an appropriate water source at the very least.
Don’t hesitate to be creative and generous, as only dedicated bird watchers will be rewarded by watching these tiny birds bathe and groom themselves right next to them. Water features will not only serve as a place for them to rest and bathe but will also be an excellent source for quenching their thirst.
As for those classic birdbaths, they are ideal for larger birds such as sparrows, robins, doves, blackbirds, etc., but not for tiny hummingbirds. They need much shallower bathing areas. If you already have a large bath you don’t want to dispose of, simply add a few larger rocks and some pebbles to reduce the depth in order for these birds to take advantage of it.
Read below the best ways to get their attention and provide them with water.
Positioning misters is one of the most effective ways to attract the attention of these birds. In addition to making noise, misters spray leaves and allow hummingbirds to rub against them to bathe. If you manage to create a delicate mist, you will be able to enjoy watching them fly through it and happily hover in it.
A slow dripper is a great addition to any birdbath and works best when placed near rocks or leaves as they provide hummingbirds with great rubbing ground.
Is there a person who does not like to see a fountain? The same goes for hummingbirds. Birdbath fountains provide a lot of shallow spots where the water runs over ledges, lips, and rims, so it’s no wonder why hummingbirds love it so much.
To Conclude: How Do Hummingbirds Drink Water?
These majestic birds love water, as it allows them to bathe, refresh and quench their thirst. What’s more, hummingbirds have thin tongues that are about the same length as their beaks that enable them to drink water by licking. They lick the water as many as 15 times within just one second.
We hope you found this article useful. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us in the section below.
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