(EnviroNews California) — The hummingbird beats its tiny wings at about 80 times per second, which creates the bird’s infamous humming sound.
These tiny little guys are the smallest birds in the world with 30 percent of their body composed of flight muscles.
Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures, not only are they colorful with shiny feathers, they can fly up, down, left, right, backwards and even upside down! They can also hover by flapping their wings in a figure-eight pattern.
In addition to its blazingly fast wings, the heart-rate of a hummingbird can reach more than 1200 beats per minute. Additionally, it has a long specialized and pointed bill used to extract nectar from the center of long tubular flowers.
Hummingbirds don’t drink nectar through their beaks like a straw though — they use their tongue which has tiny hairs on the tip to help gather nectar from flowers. This infinitesimally small tongue can be clearly seen in the 4K 120 frame-per-second slow-mo video above. (Click the pull down menu and select 2160p for 4K viewing)
This tiny fella is a real mind-blower when you consider hummingbirds almost always remember every flower they’ve ever been to, and how long it will take a flower to refill! It’s like they have an internal clock that tells them when to come back for seconds.
Given the bird’s size, which is on average about 8.5 centimeters long from their beak to the tip of their tail — and its weight anywhere between 2 and 2.5 grams — these little birdies are pretty bad ass, and are known to be very territorial and aggressive. They’ve even been observed chasing much larger birds, like hawks, away from their turf.
Also fascinating, is the fact hummingbirds known to travel 500 miles over the gulf of Mexico to breeding grounds. That’s a pretty long flight for a little dude lacking massively long wings to glide effortlessly across thermals like other migratory birds.
The music featured in the super slow-mo 480/960 FPS video at the top is composed and performed by EnviroNews Founder Emerson Urry, tracking over himself on two Ghanaian gyil (pronounced gee lee). The music in the other slow-mo video clips is composed by Emerson’s younger brother Seth Urry, a.k.a. Seth Steelo.