Nature: Super Hummingbirds

October 12 at 8pm on ThinkTV16

October 17 at 8pm on ThinkTV14

Hummingbirds are amazing creatures to behold. They are the tiniest of birds, yet possess natural born super powers that enable them to fly backwards, upside-down and float in mid-air. Their wings beat faster than the eye can see and the speed at which they travel makes people wonder if it was indeed a hummingbird they actually saw. They also are only found in the Americas. These attributes have both intrigued scientists and made it challenging to study the species, but with the latest high-speed cameras and other technologies, Super Hummingbirds reveals new scientific breakthroughs about these magical birds.

The film begins with the research of Dr. Alejandro Rico-Guevara, who returned to his native Colombia after getting his doctorate at the University of Connecticut (he’s currently a postdoctoral researcher at University of California at Berkeley), to determine how a hummer is able to lap up nectar inside a flower at a rate of 20 times a second. Super Hummingbirds also chronicles a major discovery by Dr. Christopher Witt and his University of New Mexico team high in the Peruvian Andes where oxygen is 40 percent more scarce than it is at sea level.

Hummers may be the smallest birds in the world, but what they lack in size, they make up in speed and the ability to adapt in ways we’re just beginning to learn about as they continue to evolve.