Backyard Chirper

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Watch Birds Flying in Super Slow Motion

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Maybe it’s just the child in me, but any time I see slow-motion videos, I can’t help but be filled with wonder and excitement. When you add birds to the mix, it makes it all the better.

Researchers at Stanford University have been studying birds with ultra-high-speed cameras to figure out how to design better flying robots. As a result, we get to see some of the amazing movements of birds in flight.

Here’s more from Stanford News:

Anna’s hummingbirds, often spotted darting from flower to flower on the Stanford campus, beat their wings about 50 times per second, nothing but a green blur to human eyes.

“Our camera shoots 100 times faster than humans’ vision refresh rate,” Lentink said. “We can spread a single wing beat across 40 frames, and see incredible things.”

Current flying robots, especially small ones, are affected by air currents, so a simple gust of wind or an air conditioner could cause a tiny flying robot to crash into a wall. Birds, on the other hand, are swift, strategic and capable of flying through hurricanes. It’s not surprising that researchers are trying to glean all the information they can from birds.

Here’s the video with some of the slow-motion footage.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.