Hummingbirds on January 10th!

A Velvet-purple Coronet from Nature: Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air
It's cold and snowy here in Pittsburgh but we're about to be delighted by hummingbirds.  Next Sunday January 10 at 8:00pm PBS's Nature show will feature Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air

I watched the preview last weekend and was wowed by these tiny jewels.  Did you know that hummingbirds are the smallest warm-blooded animal on earth?  That they only occur in the Western Hemisphere?  That their wings provide lift from both sides?  That they're related to swifts?   I learned a lot, and that wasn't even the best part.

Filmed in high definition, high speed video the producers slowed down the action so you can see the hummingbirds' wingbeats.  There was slow motion footage of hummingbirds courting, eating and fighting (imagine that!).  The closeups are so close that you can see the claws on the hummingbird's toes as he grasps the edge of a flower.  They recorded the 60 mph courtship dive of the male Anna's hummingbird and the waving tail feathers of the rare Marvelous Spatuletail.  Beautiful and amazing!

The producers traveled far and wide to film these gorgeous birds.  You might even recognize the people in the film including hummingbird bander Nancy Newfield of Louisiana.  But the birds themselves are the stars. 

Click on the photo to watch previews of the show.  Then tune in at 8:00pm EST on Sunday, January 10 to see Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air.   In Pittsburgh watch it on WQED or check your local PBS schedule for exact times in your area.

(photo of a Velvet-purple Coronet from Nature: Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air)

8 thoughts on “Hummingbirds on January 10th!

  1. Watched this show this evening with my husband. It was wonderful to have this much enjoyment on this very very still cold & snowy western Pa. evening. Thanks for having this reminder for us. I was just marveled at the birds history, life and some threatened future & even people in far off places worry also. I have some nests up close & personal but the one that lives by the Cooper’s Hawk was the most intriguing. Gives us glimpses of the good things in life.
    Thanks again Kate. Faith Cornell

  2. Do hummingbirds recognize those who feed them? I really wonder as they will fly around me when I refill their feeders. Thank you.

  3. I don’t think they recognize us as individuals. To them we are probably just big moving critters that are in the way of their access to food. They aren’t afraid of us.

  4. Do hummingbirds recognize voices? I have a second generation hummingbird nest right outside my back door up under my patio roof. One of the babies from last year came back to nest in the exact same place as her mother the year before. As a baby I talked to her daily and put her back into her nest twice because of ants. I could swear she comes to me when I call her (baby bird. so original). I can’t seem to find any information about this online. Anybody?

    1. Linda, I have never heard of them responding to human voices (I just don’t have any experience with it. Maybe others do.) Hummingbirds do get used to our routine and will wait around, expecting us to refill the bird feeder. I am curious how you know that it’s a baby from last year’s nest. Is the bird banded?

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