Anna’s hummingbird sings through its tail


This video is called The Courtship of Anna’s Hummingbird (Britannica.com).

From British daily The Independent:

Revealed: the bird that sings through its tail

By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Wednesday, 30 January 2008

A small hummingbird has been found to “sing” through its tail feathers rather than its voice-box in the same way a wind musician plays a note on a clarinet.

Scientists have found that the Anna’s hummingbird of the American south-west makes a “chirping” sound by dive-bombing at speeds of 50mph to cause wind to rush through its splayed tail feathers. The feathers quiver in the same way that the reed of a clarinet vibrates when a musician plays the instrument to produce a musical note. In this way, the bird is able to produce a noise that is louder than anything its own tiny voice-box can make.

The researchers said it is the first time that any bird has been shown to make a deliberate noise in this way, but they now believe that there may be other species of hummingbirds that can sing through their feathers.

1 thought on “Anna’s hummingbird sings through its tail

  1. Pingback: Mites on hummingbirds’ tails, new study | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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