Only the best nectar will do

A new study into Hummingbirds has found that they tend to feed from flowers which hang down vertically, even though this costs them more energy than feeding on more accessible blooms.

The reason may be that vertical-hanging flowers keep the rain out – and so their nectar remains undiluted. Among the smallest and most brightly-coloured birds on earth, and capable of hovering for long periods, hummingbirds are crucial pollinators of flowering plants across the Americas.

Scientists originally surmised that the flowers had evolved this way because hummingbirds would have to use less energy to feed from them. But new research has shown that the opposite is in fact the case.