Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

video Environment

Hummingbirds shake to stay dry

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 00:29

Nov. 16 - Using high-speed cameras, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown how hummingbirds deal with raindrops. With a show of enormous force and lightning quick speed, the small birds shake their heads back and forth to stay dry. The study was published on November 9, 2011 in the online edition of the Royal Society Interface journal. (No reporter narration).

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Slow motion footage shot by researchers Victor Ortega-Jiminez and Robert Dudley from the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, shows how Anna Hummingbirds deal with wet weather. In less than a tenth of a second, while hovering in mid flight, the birds manage to produce 34 Gs of acceleration, more than 330 metres per second, while vigourously shaking their heads to rid themselves of unwanted raindrops. The movement resembles how dogs shake off water, but the birds do it hundreds of times faster. Human beings lose consciousness at around 5G. The scientists were curious about how the tiny birds, which weigh just 4 grams, managed in wet weather. They doused the birds with a sprinkler system while using high speed cameras to see how they react. As the water hit the hummingbirds the cameras recorded them shaking their heads 180 degrees, back and forth at a speed to high for the human eye to see. The researchers say the discovery could be used to design a generation of flying micro-robots capable of operating in rainy weather.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Hummingbirds shake to stay dry

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 00:29