Updated: Apr 28
Two billion heart beats per creature - that's the average. A tortoise spends them slowly and lives for two hundred years. A hummingbird rips through at ten beats per second and is lucky to see its third birthday. The brevity of a hummingbird's life makes it all the more precious, all the more amazing that the feathered rocket that just buzzed through my yard zipped up here from Central America and has a heart the size of a pencil erasure and will soon lay eggs the size of its heart and must glean enough calories from the cold days of spring to fuel its ferocious tiny metabolism. Hummers can fly backwards and sideways. They chirp and buzz with the gusto of creatures five times their size. They catch bugs and lick nectar with a tongue as long as their brilliantly bristling little bodies. Here's some footage to celebrate the insane good fortune to live on a planet abuzz with feathered jewels.