‘Hummers’ live life in the fast lane, beating their wings 70–80 times per second, rising to over 200 a second during high-speed dashes. They take up to 500 breaths a minute to feed oxygen to enormous wing muscles comprising almost a third of their weight; their hearts are five times the size of ours, proportional to body size. And in cloudforest, the diversity of hummingbirds is astonishing: seeing 20 or so species jostling for position around the sugar feeders hung up in lodge gardens is nothing unusual. Chocó endemics include the gorgeous violet-tailed sylph ( left) and velvet-purple coronet ( opposite), while the sword-billed hummingbird ( above) frequents the highest cloudforest. Its 10cm-long bill is longer in relation to the body than in any other bird.