How Fast Do Hummingbirds Fly and Flap Their Wings?

The smaller the hummingbird, the faster it flaps its wings. Ruby-throated hummingbird wings beat about 50 times a second. 

A rufous hummingbird’s wings beat as fast as 52 to 62 wingbeats per second

The bee hummingbird of Cuba, the smallest bird on earth at only 2 inches from bill tip to tail tip, buzzes along at 80 beats per second.

The advent of high-speed motion photography has allowed scientists to accurately measure and study wing movements that are way too fast for the human eye to see.

Powerful flight muscles – Up to 30% of their total body weight is flight muscle, the highest proportion in the animal kingdom. This provides the power needed for fast wing beats.

hummingbirds can fly very fast, routinely attaining speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour. They triple that speed during those amazing courtship display dives.

 This is the highest speed every recorded for a vertebrate, relative to size. Even more incredibly, as it pulls up, with wings spread, the bird experiences centripetal accelerations nearly nine times greater than gravitational acceleration.

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