Hummingbirds control their turning velocity and radius using body orientation and asymmetrical wingbeats, according to a new study.
Using a feeder tracking experiment researchers found the birds control their turning velocity by altering their physical orientation, and control their turning radius by beating their wings at slightly different speeds.
Researchers filmed six adult male Anna’s hummingbirds after applying white markings to their heads, backs, and rumps to facilitate tracking.
Original research paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface on March 29, 2015.
Names and affiliations of selected authors
Douglas L. Altshuler, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia