How Fast Do Hummingbirds Flap Their Wings?

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Hummingbirds can flap their wings as fast as 52 wing beats per second, which enables them to stay in the air flying forward, backwards, sideways, up and down. Discover how hummingbirds get around so quickly with information from a national wildlife steward in this free video on bird life.

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Video Transcript

Hello my name is Barbara Dewitt. I'm a National Wildlife Federation Stewart with the Broward County Audubon Society. Hummingbirds flap their wings fifty two wing beats a second. They need to do this to keep their body in the air and they fly forward, backwards,sideways both sides, and up and down. They can fly all around, they are the only bird that can fly backwards. And they use this, they use this to get away from predators. They use this to display to their mates. They use this when they are at a feeder and they can without perching, they can hover in the air by beating their wings and they can feed from the tubular flowers or they can feed from a feeder. They, the large ones, the giant hummingbirds can actually see them beating their wings because the beat them a little bit slower but the small ones beat them so fast that if you are going to take a picture of them you need to have it in a very fast speed to get that wing beats stopped and to get them in flight without blur. They also use their flight to chase predators away. They'll if any kind of animal is coming to their nest or to bother any of them, they'll fly at them, they'll and they'll fly at them in tandem to chase away predators.

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