Super Hummingbirds Next Week

screenshot from Super Hummingbirds video by PBS NATURE
screenshot from Super Hummingbirds video by PBS NATURE

Tiny and jewel-like, hummingbirds are “super-birds.”  They beat their wings 80 times per second and fly backwards and upside down.  And that’s only the start.

Next Wednesday we’ll get to see these super birds at their best on PBS NATURE’s season premiere: Super Hummingbirds.

Filmed in Colombia, Peru and Costa Rica, the program showcases surprising information about hummingbirds’ lives.

  • Their tongues open lengthwise to gather nectar using unique forked tips.
  • Many live high-speed lives in thin air at 16,000 feet in the Andes Mountains.
  • Male long-billed hermit hummingbirds in Costa Rica gather in leks to sing for a mate.

A side trip to Arizona captured the Costa’s hummingbird courtship ritual.  During the male’s sky dance he splays out his purple gorget to impress his potential mate.  The screenshot below is just a hint at his beauty.  He’s amazing in the video.

Male Costa's hummingbird sky-dances for a female (screenshot from PBS NATURE's Super Hummingbirds)
Male Costa’s hummingbird sky-dances for a female (screenshot from PBS NATURE’s Super Hummingbirds)

Watch Super Hummingbirds next Wednesday, October 12, 2016 on PBS NATURE at 8pm (Eastern time). In Pittsburgh, it’s on WQED.

And while you’re waiting for next Wednesday, get your “hummingbird fix” at Cornell Lab’s West Texas Hummingbird Cam near Fort Davis, Texas. Click here to watch.


(Super Hummingbirds video and screenshot from PBS NATURE)

3 thoughts on “Super Hummingbirds Next Week

  1. Thanks, Kate! I have a meeting that night. Can I stream it later? It looks great. Would I go to PBS website?

    1. Yes, Super Hummingbirds will be available online on the PBS NATURE website after the premiere. If you are not a PBS Passport member you’ll have about a month to view it.
      Here is the schedule: The full episode will be streaming live the day after broadcast on the PBS Nature website for about a month, then it goes behind the “PBS Passport” wall for public television station members who register for the Passport program.

  2. Kate,
    I watched this last night. (I actually record all of the Nature programs and am never disappointed.) It was fascinating! Who knew they had forked tongues that lapped up the nectar, I always assumed they sucked it up like a straw. I highly recommend this for everyone. A very unique and beautiful bird. (But aren’t they all? :))

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