The Genius of Birds: Watch a Hummingbird's Tongue in Action

Jan. 27, 2014


Ever wonder how hummingbirds harvest nectar from flowers?  Of course you say, they use their long tongues.  Well, that is true...but how they do it is amazing. 

Thanks to new high-speed video cameras, hummingbirds can now be examined up close gathering nectar from flowers.  The results overturn nearly two centuries of conventional wisdom as to how they drink.

Researchers previously thought tube-like channels in their tongues sucked up fluid by capillary action. But the new analysis shows that their tongues actually trap nectar by curling around it.

Watch this clip from the new Illustra documentary Flight: The Genius of Birds


High-Speed Video Shows How Hummingbirds Really Drink

by Dave Mosher   5/2/11