I used to think hummingbirds used their bills as straws to suck up nectar, but they actually extend their very long translucent tongues into feeders and flowers to get the goods! According to a website about ruby-throated hummingbirds, here are some interesting facts about their phenomenal tongues: “The tongue of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is split and somewhat broadened and brushy at the tip. Hummingbirds lap up nectar with their tongues by extending and contracting it about 13 times per second. They do NOT use the tongue and bill as a straw.”

I got this shot of a hummingbird as it flicked its tongue in and out of its bill after feeding on the sugary nectar I provide for them. If I’m not mistaken, that bit of reddishness visible inside the tongue (View larger) is probably some leftover nectar the little biddy is slurping up.


  • jesika
    jesikaover 6 years ago

    So it’s more like a fly than a butterfly tongue. Very interesting, I just love how the University of RedBubble continues to educate us.
    Thanks for that Bonnie, & many thanks for such a wonderful shot.

  • KSkinner
    KSkinnerover 6 years ago

    Great timing Bonnie – nice image

  • pat oubridge
    pat oubridgeover 6 years ago

    This is exquisite Bonnie

  • Grinch/R. Pross
    Grinch/R. Prossover 6 years ago

    Awesome capture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Farmncamera
    Farmncameraover 6 years ago

    ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!!! I am so impressed…. at how you captured this!! And I did not know this. What timing is right!!!!.

  • photosbylefty
    photosbyleftyover 6 years ago

    stunning shot by the “bird lady.” awesome as is all of your work Bonnie

  • Sheryl Kasper
    Sheryl Kasperover 6 years ago

    Amazing capture.

  • Barry Norton
    Barry Nortonover 6 years ago

    Amazing capture, beautiful,lovely colours, Bonnie

  • nmbrplus
    nmbrplusover 6 years ago

    I don’t think it gets any better than this Bonnie……..I am enjoying each and every image you upload………..fantastic work my friend, just beauitful!!!!

  • Agnes McGuinness
    Agnes McGuinnessover 6 years ago

    Superb capture, Bonnie. Lovely bird. Agnes:))

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