Cosmic Love – Hummingbird Edition

This video was slowed down to 10% to catch this impossibly quick little hummingbird enjoying the sunshine in Sonoma County, CA.

“The daily hummingbird assaults existence with improbability.” 

Ursula K Le Guin – No Time to Spare, Thinking About What Matters
Humming birds are hovering rainbows
The iridescence of hummingbird feathers is a result of prism-like microstructures that fragment light into components of the spectrum, by a process of absorption and angle of light.
Hummingbirds can’t stop
Like marathon runners or teenagers, hummingbirds have super-fast metabolisms and need to eat constantly—about every 10 minutes. They generally eat between two to three times their own body weight!
Until they REALLY stop
Hummingbirds can drop into “torpor” which is a type of deep sleep where hummingbirds lower their metabolic rate by as much as 95%. thus consuming 50x less energy than their active state.  They achieve this by a cooled body temperature. A hummingbird’s night time body temp is maintained at hypothermic threshold that is barely enough to maintain life
Hummingbirds have the biggest heart & brains of all birds
A hummingbird’s heart is relatively the largest of all animals at 2.5% of its body weight and a hummingbird’s brain makes up a whopping 4.2 percent of its weight; proportionally, that’s the largest of any bird’s.
Hummingbirds skip leg day
Roughly 25-30 percent of a hummingbird’s weight is in its pectoral muscles. These are the broad chest muscles principally responsible for flight. While their feet are primarily used for perching, not for walking.
Hummingbirds have far more unique flight abilities than any other bird
They can fly forward, backward, sideways, and straight up. They can also hover extensively and do aerobatics such as backward somersaults.
Hummingbirds are also viciously territorial.
During mating season the males will frequently fight, using their beaks as a sword.
Setting: Healdsburg, CA
Camera: Panasonic Lumix Fz2500

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