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Re: Altitude effects on hummingbird flight?

You have a good eye. There are two ways to hover at altitude. One is with longer wings and a slower frequency, the other is with shorter wings and a higher frequency. You've described both methods.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Tommy Tyrberg" <tommy.tyrberg@norrkoping.mail.telia.com>
To: <xrciseguy@sbcglobal.net>; <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Cc: <jrccea@bellsouth.net>
Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2006 2:28 PM
Subject: Re: Altitude effects on hummingbird flight?

Personally I think this is nonsense. .....
The most extreme high-altitude hummer, the Bearded Helmetcrest which you never see below the paramo and which goes to about 17,000 feet is actually rather short-winged for a hummingbird.
The Giant Hummingbird (the species mentioned in the second paragraph) is long-winged and also goes quite high, but it has a much slower wing-stroke than other, smaller hummingbirds (including the Great Sapphirewing).....
Admittedly I haven't watched either the Helmetcrest or the Giant higher than to about 13,000 feet myself, but at that altitude they certainly didn't seem in the least bothered by the thin air.>