To fit into small spaces, hummingbirds cannot fold their wings like other birds. But he found another way. Two, even, researchers tell us today. And some surprising ways!
To make their way among the branches of dense forest trees, most birds fold their wings on their wrists or elbows. But hummingbirds can’t do that. However, they manage to squeeze into small spaces. And researchers from the University of Berkeley (United States) finally explain how Journal of Experimental Biology,
Hummingbirds fly sideways to get through small spaces
To understand, the researchers first had to imagine an experiment that would encourage hummingbirds to fly through small slot- or hole-shaped spaces, whose dimensions vary between 6 and 12 centimeters – knowing that a The wingspan of a hummingbird is about 12 centimeters. The researchers used feeders filled with a sugary solution. Then, they watched everything using slowmotion cameras, large-scale cameras. vitsevitse that allows us to see what our eyeseyes Don’t discriminate.
Every time, the hummingbirds stopped in front of him “Obstacles”, As if they have to be evaluated. have to cross again “Obstacles” Rather slit-shaped, the hummingbird has adopted a completely surprising lateral position. Don’t forget to flap your wings continuously so that you don’t lose altitude. to pass through the smallest hole – or when” Obstacle “ This was known to them – hummingbirds, on the other hand, would fold their wings straight after passing an obstacle before starting to flap again.
A Winning Strategy for Hummingbirds
Researchers say only 8% of the birds studied were injured in the experiment. A hummingbird experienced « Collision incident » However, he recovered so well that he tried his luck again. This time with success. According to scientists, the evidence is that lateral flight techniques allow hummingbirds to reduce the risk of collision.