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  • Writer's pictureDay Scott

Flying Jewels

Costa's Hummingbird

Calypte costae

One of the cool things about studying animals is learning about their many adaptations for survival. For food acquisition, hummingbirds have narrow beaks and long tongues that help them suck nectar from flowers (and your feeders).

For flight, these fluttering jewel’s can sweep their wings (wing beats) between 30 and 200 flaps per second. They rotate them in a figure-eight pattern that creates a lift force which allows them to hover. Not only do they fly forward and basically levitate, hummingbirds can also fly backward, sideways, and straight up.

I always enjoy observing hummers. Between their buzzing, diving, chasing, fighting, and gatekeeping… you’re almost guaranteed to get a show.

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