Hummingbirds as Aerobatic Flyers

Interesting feature at Science News about hummingbirds.

It seems "they pull more g’s than any known vertebrate stunt flier outside a cockpit."

And, "The stunt flier’s great swoop forms one of the centerpieces of his courtship display to win female attention. The bird orients his display dive in relation to the sun so that his female audience will get the brightest view."

"Clark took advantage of the males’ predictable dive orientation, setting out a caged female, or even a stuffed female on a stick, to inspire birds to dive right in front of his video cameras. Males flew up and plunged over the female typically 10 or 15 times in a row, but one enthusiastic stunt flier completed 75 consecutive dives with a break of only a few minutes."

Not much of a difference between the birds and most airplane pilots there, however.


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