We’re hearing the sound of a male Rufous Hummingbird.
(Whirring of wings of a Rufous Hummingbird)
When naturalist A.R. Annons wrote, “birds are flowers flying, and flowers are perched birds,” he may have had hummingbirds in mind. Their eye-catching iridescence is caused by tiny droplets of oil within their feathers. These droplets break up the sun’s rays, to create dazzling colors.
One hummingbird commonly seen west of the Rockies is the Rufous Hummingbird. East of the Rockies, you’ll see the Ruby-throat.
The hummingbird is the only bird that can truly hover. It manages this by flapping its wings 20 to 80 times a second. Here’s the sound of those wings. Sound of whirring wings
It can fly straight up and down. Backwards and forwards. Or upside down. And up to 75 miles an hour. But don’t worry, it won’t run into you. This bird can slow down from 25 miles an hour to a dead stop in a space no longer than your index finger.
And even if it did collide with something, it isn’t likely to cause much damage: this mighty puffball weighs less than two dimes.
Before we go, this note from the male Rufous Hummingbird: Repeat hummingbird sound thru end
To learn more, buzz on over to our website, BirdNote.org.
Sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. “
Ambient sound track provided by C. Peterson
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2010 Tune In to Nature.org