How Do Hummingbirds Hover in Rain and Wind?
Hummingbirds need a lot of nectar to satisfy their insanely high metabolism. Every day, they must consume about their own bodyweight's worth of the sweet stuff in order to survive. They go from flower to flower, carefully using their long beaks to prod for food, steadily hovering in one place while this search goes on.
But how do such lightweight birds—most weigh less than a nickel—maintain stability in high winds and inclement weather? Researchers at the Animal Flight Laboratory at the University of California-Berkeley sought to find out, so they put the little guys in a wind tunnel and cranked it up.
This video from KQED, the PBS station in San Francisco, shows what it looks like when you film a hummingbird's flight in windy conditions with high-speed cameras. It also reveals how the birds stay so steady in all kinds of weather:
[h/t: Deep Look]