Aerial Acrobats: Hummingbirds change their posture when hit by rain to sustain flight
There are many natural wonders that still pose a puzzle to the human intellect and as we unravel each mystery, new ones seem to crop up every day. Observing and studying nature is a wonderful way to learn design and man has been trying to imitate the action of a bird in flight since ages. It is fairly reasonable to say that we have still not completely succeeded in imitating evolution. While 5 million years of evolution is hard to match, taking hints from it and improving our own designs and gadgets is a pretty smart idea. And the Humming Bird is a good case in the point.
A hummingbird needs to consume large amounts of nectar each day to keep up its fast-paced dazzling aerial stunts and while they are unique when it comes to flight technology and maneuvering in the natural world, the fuel consumption rate is simply whooping. This pretty much means that even on a rainy day, they need to be out looking for food and that has led scientists to wonder how the tin birds manage that entire downpour.
The latest study conducted on the subject used high-resolution cameras and a hummingbird flying in a simulated shower to study its motion under rainfall. While a drizzle and moderate rain barely affected the little flight master, heavy downpour saw the bird change its position in the air and align their bodies and tail horizontally and flap wings faster. This not only reduced the number of drops hitting them but also made their flight far more stable. Combined with waterproof feathers, this allowed them to forge even in rough conditions.
Check out the video after the jump to see for yourself.