20081015

HummingBirds Swarming

video

This was taken with the video feature of my still camera, a Canon Power Shot A720 IS. While the quality does not equal a "real" movie camera, this feature is quite remarkable.

At first, you hear only the TV inside my RV, because I have scared away many of the Hummingbirds while setting up my tripod and camera. After I go inside and close the door, the birds return and start swarming around the two feeders, chirping loudly.

One feeder, a bottle type, "looks like" it is just above the windshield of the motorhome in the background. The other feeder, a saucer type, is at the right side of the screen, hanging by an "invisible" chain from the roof.

The birds are migrating, headed south for the winter, and have stopped at the feeders in front of my motorhome.

The video was taken near the northern border of Texas as Hurricane Ike, which probably affected their behavior, approached the Texas Gulf Coast, about 350 miles to the south.

Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world, with the smallest being 2.3 inches, and weighing only 2g.

They are unique to the Americas, and are found, according to the season of the year, from Alaska to the southern tip of South America.

The Hummingbird wing functions much like an insect wing, giving them unique flying capabilities. They are the only birds in the world that can hover, fly backward, upward, and downward in a vertical plane.

You can observe these flight patterns in the video, even though you can't see details and colors.

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