Hummingbirds are a rare bird with stunning beauty. They are among the tiniest of birds, as most other species measure in the 7.5–13 cm range. The smallest existing bird species, the 5-cm Bee Hummingbird, weighs less than a penny on average. They also have been scientifically confirmed to be the cutest birds in the animal kingdom. They are difficult to spot, and most of us have never seen one in person, or even had the chance to get close to any one of them.
They are enormously small but are endowed with uncanny abilities. Hummingbirds are capable of flapping their wings 50 times per second on average. It is said that they can flap as rapidly as 200 times per second, allowing them also to fly at speeds in excess of 34 mph, that is, backwards or even upside down. Thankfully, Scottish photographer Chris Morgan’s work allows us to observe this bird up-close and personal.
Earlier in the year Morgan went to Bosque De Paz, a privately-owned 3,000 acre biological reserve located in Costa Rica. While there, Morgan was able to snap some amazing macro images of this remarkable bird species. Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any homoeothermic animal. To save energy when food is scant, they have the capability to go into a hibernation-like condition where their metabolic rate is slowed to 1/15th of its typical rate. Morgan had this to say of his encounter with the amazing bird.
“The hummingbirds were so tempting to photograph to the point of madness!” He said. “It took a while to be able to get any shots of one. In the space of an hour I took nearly a thousand shots. A good proportion were excellent out of focus pictures of bushes with no birds to be seen! But I really felt my abilities improved over the hour. Nothing like a bit of practice.”
Check out his pictures of this remarkable bird here along with his other work.