By the time the army reached the little Ukrainian fortress of Hadjacz in January 1709, wine and spirits froze into solid masses of ice; birds on the wing fell dead; saliva congealed on its passage from the mouth to the ground.
In agility they are unsurpassed; in fact they are stated to be so swift in their movements as to be able to capture birds on the wing with their paws.
Graceful in form and active in motion, sun-birds flit from flower to flower, feeding on small insects which are attracted by the nectar and on the nectar itself; but this is usually done while perched and rarely on the wing as is the habit of humming-birds.
Only on the wing on which the reserve is brought into action will a decisive result be aimed at.
If they flew like ordinary flies their resemblance to Hymenoptera would be obscured by the rapidity of their flight and they might be caught on the wing by insectivorous birds or other insects; but when poised they display their coloration.