25 August 2021
Hummingbirds hover and zip, levitate and fly backwards. How do they do it?
At more than 50 beats per second(*) their wings are so fast that we can’t see what they’re doing so UC Berkeley captured and filmed Anna’s hummingbirds in high-res video.
Played back in slow motion we see their wings moving forward and back in a figure 8 like oars in a boat. Hummingbirds are rowing in the sky!
Check out this PBS Deep Look.
(*) The fastest recorded wing beats were 80 beats per second by an amethyst wood-star hummingbird.
(photo from Wikimedia Commons; click on the caption to see the original, video embedded from PBS Deep Look)