Picture a World of Obese, Diabetic Hummingbirds…

…or at least that’s what I’ve been doing lately, seeing all the hummingbird feeders at friends’ houses this spring. When I see (or hear) one of those tiny creatures buzz past, my aesthetic senses say, “Aw, a hummingbird. How beautiful. How awe-inspiring. How sweet.”

But my brain is saying, “Whoa now. Those lil’ guys are sure sucking down that sugar water! They couldn’t possibly get that much sugar from natural flowers, could they? So aren’t they kind of bingeing? Are we loving hummingbirds to an early death by obesity or diabetes?”

Turns out I have a lot of company in this ponderous ponder. Luckily for us, the internet contains useful sites like The Straight Dope (“Fighting Ignorance Since 1973 (It’s Taking Longer Than We Thought”).  Its take on hummingbird nutrition is full of earnest questions and myth-busting answers, most of which appear to be authoritative enough to pass the smell test (i.e., referencing articles from the Smithsonian).

(orig. image courtesy Wikimedia)

(orig. image courtesy Wikimedia)

So, still worrying about whether or not you might be contributing to your neighborhood hummingbirds’ physical deterioration? Click on The Straight Dope link and find out. Then take a moment to marvel at the Information Age, which heedeth even the fall of a hummingbird.

Meanwhile, do you have your own bird-related idiotic questions to ponder publicly? Don’t worry–on the internet, for better or for worse, you are never alone.