Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air

About

Hummingbirds take extraordinary to a whole new level. They are the smallest warm-blooded creatures on the planet, but they are also among the fastest. With wings that beat up to 200 times every second, they are among nature’s most accomplished athletes, the only birds able to hover, fly backwards, and even upside down. Hummingbird metabolisms are set in permanent overdrive, requiring them to consume more than half their body weight in nectar every day, yet even so, they remain in constant threat of starving to death as they sleep. To survive the night, they fluff up their feathers and adjust their thermostats, decreasing their body temperatures by half and reducing their heart rate from 600 beats per minute to a mere 36.

Because hummingbirds live their lives in fast forward, much of their fascinating world is typically lost to human perception. But using cameras able to capture over 500 images a second, the hummingbirds’ magical world can finally be seen and appreciated. Amazing footage shows these little powerhouses are far more than delicate nectar gatherers — they are also deadly predators. And watch as the birds display their elaborate mating rituals, showing off with nose dives that subject them to over ten G’s of force — enough to cause an experienced fighter pilot to black out!

These tiny marvels dazzle and delight bird watchers all over the world, and NATURE reveals their stunning abilities as they have never been seen before.

Production Credits Print

Narrated By
F. MURRAY ABRAHAM

Produced By
ANN JOHNSON PRUM

Written By
JAIME BERNANKE

Editor
JIM ISLER

Associate Producer
ROBIN KLEIN

Director of Photography
ANN JOHNSON PRUM

Cinematography
ANN JOHNSON PRUM
MARK CARROLL
ANDREW WEGST
MICHAEL MALE

Phantom Camera
DAVID McMURRY
GREG WILSON

Original Music
LENNY WILLIAMS

Scientific Consultant
RICHARD PRUM

Production Assistant and Graphics
MATT BRADBURY

Research Assistants
RACHAEL TEEL
MELANIE QUINN

Sound Design
BRIAN BEATRICE

Re-Recording Mixer
ED CAMPBELL

Color Correction
RANDY S. LITTLE

Stock Footage
BBC MOTION GALLERY
BLUE EARTH FILMS
NASA IMAGES

Special Thanks
MISSISSIPPI AUDUBON SOCIETY
AUDUBON KERN RIVER PRESERVE
DOUG ALTSHULER LAB, UC RIVERSIDE
ROBERT DUDLEY LAB, UC BERKELEY
BRET TOBALSKE AND DOUG WARRICK LAB, UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND
MIKE PATTERSON
SHIRLEY PAINTER
GUS, OWEN, LIAM PRUM
ANGEL PAZ
VINICIO PEREZ
YANAYACU
EL DESCANSO
SAN ISIDRO AND GUANGO LODGES
SEPTIMO PARAISO
MILPE CLOUD FOREST FOUNDATION
SACHATAMIA LODGE
MINDO LOMO
FUNDACION JOCOTOCO
ASOCIACIÓN ECOSISTEMAS ANDINOS (ECOAN)

For NATURE

Series Editor
JANET HESS

Supervising Producer
JANICE YOUNG

Senior Producer
LAURA METZGER

Producers
IRENE TEJARATCHI HESS
JILL CLARKE

Production Manager
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN

Production Assistant
JAYNE JUN

Manager
EILEEN FRAHER

Online Editor
CHRIS CONNELLY

Series Producer
BILL MURPHY

Executive In Charge
WILLIAM GRANT

Executive Producer
FRED KAUFMAN

A production of Coneflower Productions and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG

THIS PROGRAM WAS PRODUCED BY THIRTEEN, WHICH IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS CONTENT.

© 2009 WNET.ORG PROPERTIES LLC
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Web Credits

Producer
TANNER VEA

Production Assistance
CHIE WITT

Designer
JOY WEEENG

Pagebuilding
BRIAN SANTALONE

Technical Director
BRIAN LEE

Creative Director
NICK MILLER

Director of Digital Strategy
DAVID HIRMES

Senior Director
DANIEL B. GREENBERG

Writer
CHRISTOPHER WADE