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    Hummingbirds shake their heads to deal with rain

    NewsBird NewsWednesday 09 November 2011
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    UK

    Slow-motion footage has revealed how a hovering hummingbird is able to cope with wet weather.
     
    The cameras show that the delicate bird shakes its heads with such acceleration that it can reach a g-force of 34 (Formula 1 racing cars typically reach less than 6g).
     
    This mid-air manoeuvre takes just 0.1 seconds and removes almost all of the water droplets from its feathers.
    The research is published in the journal of the Royal Society Interface.
     
    Professor Robert Dudley, one of the authors of the study, from the University of California, Berkeley, said: "It is the extreme mobility - its head is going through 180 degrees in a 10th of a second or less - it is just extraordinary."
     
    The Anna's hummingbird is found in cloud forests and the neo-tropics where rainy days are common, and is able to remain active even in very wet weather.
     
    Yet, until now, nobody knew how the bird did it.
    To find out, the researchers trained their hi-tech cameras on a bird as it fed from its feeder, and then sprinkled it with water.
     
    Source: BBC News

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