In the Nature on PBS special “Super Hummingbirds” premiering on October 12, a tiny male Costa’s hummingbird performs an elaborate dance in the air, moving his body and puffing his facial feathers out into a multi-pointed star resembling a brightly colored baby octopus mask in hopes of impressing the female of his species
Spring is the time to nest for the Costa’s hummingbirds, before the desert gets too hot. Both males and females are looking for a partner, but it’s up to him to impress her. Though his back shimmers with green, it’s not until we get her point of view that we see his true splendor. He flexes the iridescent feathers of his mantle until they become a glowing mask of violet.