National Geographic has created an absolutely gorgeous, mesmerizing video that slows down the frantic beating wings of brightly colored bee hummingbirds to a pace that allows the human eye see how remarkably they fly, feed and shake themselves off. The video accompanies a longer article about documenting the movement of these fascinating creatures.
The wings of some species flap up to a hundred times per second. Their heart rate can exceed a thousand beats per minute, and they gulp nectar with a near-invisible flick of the tongue. In gardens or at backyard feeders, they’re the definition of fleeting beauty. So who could resist the temptation to slow their motion, to dissect their movements—to inhabit, even briefly, the hummingbird’s world?