UC Research Shows Hummingbirds Fight for Nookie not Nectar

28 min
at 10:30 AM
A Green Violetear is pictured at a Hummingbird feeding station on January 07, 2016 in Monteverde Costa Rica. (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A new UC Berkeley study utilizing high speed video reveals that some hummingbirds have evolved with an eye toward fighting, not feeding. The video shows how hummingbirds stab, spar and push each other in battles over territory and that some birds have developed beaks shaped to tear out the feathers of their competition. We'll hear about the groundbreaking 10-year study and celebrate these creatures whose tiny hearts beat 1,200 times per minute and who consume half their weight in sugar daily. What have you always wanted to know about hummingbirds?

Guests:

Alejandro Rico-Guevara, Miller fellow at the Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley; lead author, "Shifting Paradigms in the Mechanics of Nectar Extraction and Hummingbird Bill Morphology"

Lisa Tell, professor of veterinary medicine, UC Davis

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