Field Frame Friday: Hummingbirds are so. fly.

Hummingbirds (Trochilidae) rely less on thrusting themselves into the air using their legs than other birds during take-off. Instead they compensate by using their wings earlier on in the take-off process. This phenomena was observed most when hummingbirds took off to either escape something startling or to initiate aggression with another habitat (rather than simply just taking off in flight) suggesting they can control their precise taking-off mechanism depending on context. 

[Photo by Nick Chudeau and caption by Maggie Creamer]

Tobalske, B. W., Altshuler, D. L., & Powers, D. R. (2004). Take-off mechanics in hummingbirds (Trochilidae). Journal of Experimental Biology, 207(8), 1345-1352.

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