Monday, December 9, 2013

Aerial acrobats

Black-tailed trainbearer, Lesbia victoriae
Black-tailed trainbearer, Lesbia victoriae

With more than 300 species worldwide, hummingbirds come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. One thing they all have in common is their ability to amaze us with their acrobatic skills. A few of them, such as the trainbearers and racket-tails, have extra-long tails that act as counterweights, allowing them to make some remarkably fast mid-air twists and turns.

Booted racket-tail, Ocreatus underwoodii

Sparkling violet-ear, Colibri coruscans

Tyrian metal-tail, Metallura tyrianthina

Purple-bibbed white-tip, Urosticte benjamini

Shining sunbeams, Aglaeactis cupripennis

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