Adaptations: The Wings
Click for labeled photo
wings are narrow and tapered, allowing them to beat fast and
furiously for many hours at a time. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds often
migrate over the Gulf of Mexico, flying over 600 miles non-stop because
there is nowhere to land.
- A hummingbird's
humerus bone (similar to our arm from the shoulder to the elbow)
is short and thick to help the wing rotate.
- The hummingbird's
manus (the set of fused bones that correspond to our hand bones)
is oversized for such a tiny bird. The manus is designed to not only
support the flight feathers but to rotate them. This allows hummers
to fly backward and to hover.
feathers are light, but stiff and sturdy enough to beat millions of
times as hummers fly about on their daily business or migrate long distances.
The stiffness of flight feathers makes a humming sound when
the wings beat fast enough.