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David Attenborough Presents: Hummingbirds - Jewelled Messengers | Free Documentary Nature

Apr 01, 2024
A group of extraordinary animals lives in South America. They are among the most spectacular creatures on Earth. They have fascinated us since we met them. They are


. Their brilliant colors and skill in the air are unmatched. Celebrities are the stars of the bird world, but what do we know about these unique birds? They are tiny dwarfed by a scientific hand among the smallest warm-blooded animals on Earth and we can see that they live their lives on the fast track of flight. They are just a blur, only when you slow down their overloaded lives can you begin to understand how they live High speed cameras slow down the action 1 second extends to 50 and allows us to look very much into the hummingbird's secret world of their lives still remains a mystery, what we do know is that


depend on flowers for food, nectar fuels their frenetic lives and that hummingbirds are only found in the New World, most live in South America and here it is where our story begins.
david attenborough presents hummingbirds   jewelled messengers free documentary nature
Many plants here. They employ hummingbirds as


, but this was not the original contract when flowers first evolved more than 60 million years ago there were no hummingbirds the first flowering plants relied on insects as their pollinators today many plants still do while butterflies move from flower to flow drinking nectar carrying pollen from one plant to another plants are fertilized insects are fed this was the original arrangement the relationship between plant and insect has been long and successful but at a certain point some plants They dropped their messenger insects. The reason can be found in the forested mountains of South America.
david attenborough presents hummingbirds   jewelled messengers free documentary nature

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david attenborough presents hummingbirds jewelled messengers free documentary nature...

Here the mornings are cold and humid. Butterflies cannot fly in these conditions. The insects are cold-blooded. Their bodies have the same temperature as the environment, so they They are lethargic in the cool of the morning in the mountains insects are not reliable


there A more secure pair of wings was necessary, we may never know for sure where this change of Messengers took place, but somewhere in South America, perhaps on the ancient plateaus of Brazil, the plants acquired a new partner. It probably occurred about 50 million years ago in the cold. Climate plants needed a reliable messenger and there was a bird that could meet that requirement.
david attenborough presents hummingbirds   jewelled messengers free documentary nature
A bird that possibly looked like this hermit built by SB found a new way to make a living. This ancient hummingbird was probably an insect and spider eater. Its heavy bell was adapted to grab its prey, at some point the first hummingbirds began to visit the flowers. They did it to extract insects from flowers, perhaps, but as soon as the habit developed, birds were able to transport pollen from flower to flower and early Hummers could not only catch insects but also catch insects. They also drink the nectar. The original hummingbirds with their heavy beaks were relatively large and quite clumsy.
david attenborough presents hummingbirds   jewelled messengers free documentary nature
Flying, but this was the beginning of a long relationship with plants and birds evolved to better adapt to their new ways of life. Over millions of years, the beaks became lighter and thinner to better probe the flower for nectar to reach the flowers required great flight dexterity and the first hummingbirds became smaller and more agile than their ancestors, In addition to thin beaks, birds developed long tongues to probe flowers and sip nectar to meet nectar demands. an enormous amount of energy and that is why the hummingbirds did everything possible to reduce their weight. Their legs and feet became so small that they could no longer jump or walk.
They could only perch. They already led an extreme way of life, living on the edge of energy. In early times hummingbirds offered a reliable service to their plant masters, able to fly in all weather conditions and survive on pollen for many millions of years. Hummingbirds remained generalists, feeding on a wide variety of flowers, and many plants adopted the new pollinators. Today there are more. 8,000 different types that depend on birds, but there was a penalty to the New Deal: plants had to supply more food to their trusty warm-blooded Messengers, which is exactly why warm-blooded birds use 10 times more energy than insects cold-blooded that replaced a hummingbird drinks more than its body weight in nectar each day and the hummingbird's flowers produce a large amount of liquid to satisfy its Messengers.
Hummingbird plants were thought to produce orange and red flowers to attract their Messengers, but the story is more intriguing than the bees. They are red-green colorblind. The plants were hiding their precious nectar from these thieving insects that cannot see the difference between red and green while making it obvious to their feathered hummingbirds. The hummingbirds also paid a price to further protect their neuron from the insects that created the plants, their flowers were long and thin and placed them at the end of the branches, only an animal capable of flying with precision could reach the flowers, the hummingbirds had to float and that cost a large amount of energy, high-quality food. energy, but to obtain it requires a large production of energy, hummingbirds were forced to a precarious Law of Energy Balance maintaining a perfect position in space is a trademark of hummingbird, no other bird can do it, although the banana of size similar tries, but in truth, compared to a hummingbird, other birds seem clumsy, the reason is the way hummingbirds fly all birds.
Except for hummingbirds and swifts, their distant relatives gain power and rise on the downward movement, then fold their wings for the upward movement and repeat, hummingbirds keep their wings rigid and do not fold them, but rather turn their shoulders so that the wing rotate giving lift and power in both. The extra power hits give the Hummingbirds a huge advantage and they can claim to be the most successful Flyers to ever take off. Until recently, there was nothing that could compare to a hummingbird, until a high-tech company in California invented a robotic one. It's flying. It's like a real hummingbird.
Gaining power on both wing strokes. It's a truly remarkable achievement. It's so realistic. even fools real flesh-and-blood hummingbirds this Allen hummingbird owns this suburban Los Angeles garden and is not ready to share things reaches a crisis point when the robot Hummer approaches the neck of the real hummingbird to federate the moment to attack. The feathered hummingbird is only a quarter the size of the robot, but it still tries to scare off the interopa by dive-bombing it. The robot relies on battery power and can fly. for a few minutes, but real hummingbirds can stay in the air for hours.
Their special mode of flight gives hummingbirds the power to maneuver in all kinds of ways. Unique among birds. They can fly backwards. They can rotate in place. Even fly backwards and backwards. The plants with their hard-to-reach flowers had produced the best aerial acrobats. All this virtuosity in the air costs energy. When hummingbirds fly, they have the highest oxygen demand of all vertebrates. The wings beat as fast as 80 times per second. The problem is carrying When the bird is perched, the heart beats around 400 times per minute. In flight it rises to a staggering 1200 beats per minute as the heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to the wing muscles.
Even this does not is enough when Hing, so the heart expands in size so that it can pump more blood with each heartbeat when this happens, the blood circulates throughout the body, from the heart to the lungs, to the heart, to the muscles and back again to the heart in less than 1 second, they live on the edge of what is possible in extreme air. For athletes with extreme needs it is not surprising that when they are not flying and feeding they rest and conserve energy. Hummingbirds spend 80% of the day perched and thus have time to stretch their muscles and groom all the important feathers.
Rains provide another opportunity to clean and brush their feathers, unlike insects, hummingbirds seem to enjoy the rain, so when the sky is open, at the time the birds take the leaves to bathe, even a banana joins them, but the bath can only be a brief interlude, as hummingbirds need to feed on average every 15 minutes. Death from starvation is only a matter of hours. It is essential that birds with such a precarious energy balance do not waste time visiting flowers that do not contain nectar, but is it possible that hummingbirds can remember all the flowers they recently visited?
It seems simple when you only have a few flowers on a stem, but what happens when you take on the task on an epe tree? Even here hummingbirds can and do remember the flowers they visited. Quite a feat for a bird's brain. Plants have certainly shaped hummingbirds their size. flight powers hyperactive metabolism but birds cannot live on nectar alone they need protein and these catch them on the wing with the most remarkable precision and acrobatic skill not all flights are successful, but most birds need protein to develop muscles and Replace the feathers, the only problem is to avoid choking on the little tickling flies.
Hummingbirds are unique in many ways, but they share with all other birds the need to reproduce. The male crested spinytail has a strange way of impressing the female. Her courtship lasts an affair. of seconds and went unnoticed until the high-speed camera revealed its unusual


for a bird that lives on the edge of a knife. The display looks like an extravagant display of energy and may be designed to do just that to show off M's Fitness despite all its energy. This female is not impressed by her efforts, she alone builds the nest and cares for the eggs, but even this is not easy for hummingbirds to stay in the nest long enough to keep their eggs warm.
Counterintuitively, the female has to lower her body temperature only at this time. How can she reduce the time needed to feed? The most dangerous time in a hummingbird's life is when it is a chick. They should go unnoticed only when the feathers on their backs detect the movement of their mother's wings. Will they pray in silence? The chicks are fed a rich mixture of nectar, pollen and insects, but despite all this attention, few chicks reach adulthood, even when adult hummingbirds face serious problems, they have to refuel with nectar every 15 minutes, so How do they survive the hours of darkness every night of their lives? hummingbirds face the challenge of staying alive until morning their response is as extraordinary as any other aspect of their lives they go into torpedo a kind of hibernation their body temperature plummets their heart rate drops from 400 to 40 and they consume one hundredth of it of the energy they use When they fly, this is a truly radical and dangerous solution, since while they are on the torpedo they cannot move, there is no possibility of escaping from a nocturnal predator that could find them.
As the day approaches, they begin to shiver and heat up. It may take half an hour before they return to normal only with these extreme measures can hummingbirds survive to greet another day living an extreme hyper energetic life as hummingbirds do. You should make sure you have a supply of nectar for most hummingbirds, this It means protecting a patch of flowers large enough to hold them. They are a bird's lifesaver, so even when visiting a plant to feed a hummingbird, keep an eye out for potential nectar thieves like this female thorntail. Most intruders, when confronted by the rightful owner, back away and They abandon the territory, but in general the owners defend it. your patch of flowers for the most extravagant display of color Hummingbird feathers are extravagantly iridescent Colors are produced not by pigments but by layers of microscopic air bubbles in the feathers Air bubbles refract reflect and recombine sunlight to produce Dazzling colors Colors depend on the angle of sunlight so hummingbirds can turn their bright signals on and off, issuing a warning to an intruder, but can hide from an enemy.
If the warning flash of color fails, then a hummingbird will fight, even though they are small, they are not delicate tropical gems but aggressive fighters. It is a matter of life and death an owner must defend his precious nectar supply as befits the great Flyers much of the fighting is in the air aerial battles are actually a fight for flowers because without a territory most of the hummingbirds are in deadly trouble in northern Brazil there are even temporary territories that last only a matter of hours the cacti that colonize the rocknaked they only reveal their flowers in the afternoon in the morning they are hidden inside these strange caps and The Rock Garden is deserted but when the flowers open then The hummingbirds appear as if by magic, they remember when the nectar is available, the birds They feast on the abundant nectar and, in return, carry the sticky pollen from the plants in their beaks and pass it to other flowers, the Hummers carve this miniature world by patrolling its airspace. and chasing away intruders, the temporary rulers of the cactus are not afraid, they attack each other and ignore lizards much larger than themselves, but when it comes to bees and wasps, they retreat.
Hummingbirds are too small to risk being stung, it would be fatal. The Hummers stay and feed. and they fight and protect their thorny patch until night, then, as the light fades, they gradually move away to return the following afternoon. Hummingbirds with their remarkable adaptations were an evolutionary success. They moved into a variety of habitats wherever there were flowers that needed reliable pollinators and about 17 million years ago another opportunity arose when the Andes, pushed up by drifting continents, grew ever larger, the volcanic mountain range reaching higher 5,000 m higher than the ancestral Brazilian plateau, creating new habitats, the mountains also brought new challenges, there was less oxygen at these dizzying heights. and the air is thinner less dense some plants offered support to their feathered messengers The bright ray of sun clings to the future while feeding and thus saves the high cost of floating other birds found a different way to face life in the high mountains The giant hummingbird has enormous wings, the extra wing area compensates for the thin air and the giant moves its wings in a large arc to create more lift, the wingtips almost meeting at the end of each stroke.
The giant is the largest of them all. hummingbirds have the same weight as a great tit and perhaps this is the upper limit for hummingbirds the Andes with their wide range of habitats produced an explosion of hummingbird species half of all types of hummingbirds live in these mountains along with their plant companions and some plants formed a closer relationship with their sexual messengers. This is the angel's trumpet and its flowers are huge, 20cm long, the nectar is produced at the far end of the tube, out of reach. Unlike most hummingbirds, this Cor simply does not have the means to reach nectar, only a bird can sip from the angel's trumpet.
This one, the SW Bill, its beak is actually longer than its body. It has the longest beak in relation to the body of any bird in the world. the world and that remarkable beak and equally long tongue allow the swordbill to forage where no other bird can and a Big Bill may have other uses the angel's trumpet is not the only plant that forms an intimate bond with the swordbeak this It is a type of passion flower and also has a long tubular flower, the orange on Bill's sword chin is pollen every time he drinks from the passion flower, the pollen is transferred back and forth between the plant and the bird, forming as close as in the passion flower and the angel.
The trumpet increases the chances that its pollen will be successfully transferred to a plant of the same type and the hummingbird has the plants' nectar to itself, so both plant and bird benefit. There is another hummingbird that has formed an even closer relationship. You have an exclusive deal. With this heliconia the heliconia protects its yellow flowers inside sturdy red brats the flowers are deeply curved only this bird can reach the nector its beak perfectly matches the curve of the flower like a key in a lock while it forages in its private garden flowers pollen is If a touch is applied to its head, the bird transfers the pollen from one plant to another, ensuring successful pollination because the sickle has the heliconia nectar to itself, it has no need to defend a territory, but which spends the day flying from one group of flowers to another and does not need to show its ownership of the flowers the sickle beak is not iridescent rather it is rather dull camouflaged against its exclusive flowers the next chapter in the evolution of hummingbirds was written ago About 6 million years ago some hummingbirds became even smaller these micro hummingbirds are among the smallest warm hummingbirds Blood creatures on Earth weigh just two g, the same as a single penny, and compete directly with insects, not They are just smaller than other hummingbirds, they look different and behave differently, their flight is more insect-like as they wander.


ly through the forests feeding on a variety of flowers the mystery is why small Hummers like this wooden star are not attacked by the owners of larger territories the aggressive Esmeralda ignores this little thief why, even more mysterious, the miniature wooden star shows no fear at all plunders the Emerald's nectar reserve, it may be that the Emerald does not recognize the small wooden star as a hummingbird, but rather its small size and insect-like flight deceives the bird larger, the emerald even shares a flower with a little sneaker, could that be it?
The wood star is taking advantage of the hummingbird's inherent fear of wasps and bees. This new group of micro hummingbirds may have originated in Central America from there they have spread north to the flower box, but there is a big drawback to living so far north in winter, so each fall the ruby-throated hummingbirds must head towards the south before the flowers die and starve them of food in September. They reached places like Rockport Texas. Some may have already flown more than 3,000 kilometers from Canada, but many still face their biggest challenge. They must continue south. and for some that means crossing the immensity of the sea local people place feeders to help migrating hummingbirds each hummingbird that arrives feeds furiously they must gain weight by converting sugar rich nectar into fat in just 3 days a bird will almost double its weight this It is the equivalent of a human being of average weight who gains more than 50 kilos of fat.
The arrival of the hummingbirds is cause for celebration and Rockport organizes the hummingbird celebration. People come from all over North America to see these little travelers, the most unusual sights you have ever seen. You will have to show your face, oh yes, absolutely yes, at the peak of migration. Rockport is the temporary home to tens of thousands of Hummers. This spectacle of so many hummingbirds cannot be found anywhere else on Earth, but it may lead some people to make a spectacle of themselves. The Hummer helmet is all they need. Once the birds have grown fat enough, they travel the short distance. distance to the coast the time has come for the greatest test of their flight capabilities the night journey of at least 800 kilometers non-stop is an enormous Much is unknown about the journey, but scientists have recently tracked the birds using Doppler radar from the National Weather Service of the United States, designed to discover water droplets within clouds.
Sophisticated radar can also reveal the path of flocks of small birds, including Hummers; once they are beyond radar range, their journey is shrouded in mystery. We still don't know much about hummingbirds and their secret high-speed lives, but what we do know. What I do know is that they are the most extraordinary, colorful, energetic and acrobatic creatures. They live at the limit of what is possible. Nature's miniature masterpieces, all because they are the messengers of plants.

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