Why do hummingbird wings buzz?

Investigation Development

Scientists created the first 3D acoustic model of flying hummingbirds. To do this, they combined video and audio recordings of the birds in motion, with measurements of the forces generated by the hummingbird wings.

In addition, to capture all the elements of the hummingbird’s flight, the researchers used sensitive pressure plates They measured the strength of wingbeats, a dozen high-speed cameras, 2,176 microphones and six hummingbirds that were captured, recorded and released on the same day, according to the study published in the journal eLife.

In most birds, the buzz you hear is the sound of their downward flight. However, the wings of hummingbirds are shaped like a ‘u’ in the air, for what they produce elevation so much in his downward flight as in the ascending one, according to the group of scientists.

Thus, the researchers concluded that hummingbirds hum occurs by air pressure differences during shakes and the speed at which its wings move. On the other hand, the variability in the way the air moves over the feathers, and the overall shape of the wing add nuances to the sound. This produces, for example, that the hummingbird buzz is pleasant for people, unlike the buzz of a mosquito or a fly.