What Happens When You Put a Hummingbird in a Wind Tunnel? | Deep Look


Hummingbirds are ravenous. These tiniest of birds have the highest metabolism of any warm blooded animal. And they’re fueled by flower nectar. To get it, they’ve developed skills no other
birds have. They can fly backwards and hover for long
stretches of time. Their beaks stay steady like a surgeon’s scalpel, but their wings beat furiously, up to 80 times a second. And they can hover in wind. In rain even. Most of these birds weigh less than a nickel. You’d think they’d get blown away. So how do they pull it off? Scientists at UC Berkeley brought hummingbirds
into the lab for a closer view. First, the wild birds had to be trained, one
at a time, to feed from an artificial flower filled with sugar water. Hummingbird wings buzz like helicopter blades
– too fast for the naked eye to see. But by recording them with a high-speed camera
– at 1000 frames a second — scientists can see the individual wing movements. They
can actually see how hovering works. Most birds flap their wings up and down to
fly. But hummingbirds move their wings backward and forward in a figure eight movement, like
oars. This generates lift during the upstroke and
the downstroke, which helps hummingbirds stay stable, instead of bobbing up and down. But how would a hummingbird respond when the
weather gets rough? To find out, the scientists moved the hummingbird
into a wind tunnel and began recording. The wind is coming from the right side of
t he cage – up to 20 miles per hour. The hummingbird must fly into the wind to
get the sugar water. This high-speed footage shows how it turns
and twists its body in the direction of the air flow, while using its wings for control
and its tail like a rudder to stay steady. Even rain can’t stop the hummingbird from
feeding. See how the bird shakes off drops of water
from its body, like a wet dog? The birds can’t afford not to eat. They
have to consume their weight in nectar every day to survive. And the flowers need them too. As they eat,
hummingbirds spread pollen from plant to plant. It’s a symbiosis – a two-way street between
a bird and a flower. These tiny flying machines have evolved
ways to hold up their end of the bargain, rain, wind or shine.

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100 thoughts on “What Happens When You Put a Hummingbird in a Wind Tunnel? | Deep Look

  1. Statistically 2 people in this comment section will be dead by tomorrow and 5 of you will be involved in a car accident of which 2 of you will suffer crippling, life-long consequences.

  2. One time I swung a door open and hit a humming bird ): and I had to hold it for like an hour before it was able to gather itself and fly away

  3. My hummingbirds always shower in my little micro sprinklers that I have on my fruit trees. Super cute.

  4. y’all scientists are using expensive tech to see their “individual wing movements” while im here using imovie slo mo for free

  5. The question is not what happens when you put a hummingbird in a wind tunnel ×

    The question is what happens to the wind tunnel if a hummingbird has it's sights on the wind tunnel😂😭?.

    This maestro aerial specialist is by far my fave in the animal kingdom.

  6. These hummingbirds are like a bee except that they don't buzz but there was a species is a bee hummingbird hope this reminds

  7. What is a hummingbird skill?
    A: Look at sun at the summer
    B: hover and gets pollen
    C: Sucks blood to carry diseas
    D: BE DANK AND LAZY
    What is your answer? Write at the comments below.

  8. It's amazing that evolution transformed lumbering beasts (dinosaurs) into a sophisticated and highly specialized flying machine.

  9. Legend says these creatures almost sucked the life out of conan the barbarian . Sadly only 90s kids and older people will get this late joke

  10. PSA: Don't forget to clean ur H-bird feeders people!! They'll get sick if u don't. ❤❤ 2x a month is plenty fine.❤❤

  11. Dont you love it how carbon atoms became self aware dreamers all by themselves and decided to create this brilliant little creature…oh you got to watch out for those self aware carbon atoms…sneaky little buggers just love to create and outperform the most advanced darpa scientific brilliant minds we have in the world.

  12. Isso é um absurdo! A que ponto chegamos? Prender o animal para saber mais sobre ele? Com certeza descobriremos muito mais observando-o em sua liberdade.

  13. So..cute.Small.birds but smart flying…,the way they flap their wings…/the way they shake their head in rain…is almost like a human behaviour..Lovely…

  14. so if the wings flap at a particular time per second and it matches with a camera capture rate, im guessing we would just see a bird flapping in a T-pose?

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