Hummingbird 1000fps

Hummingbird 2000fps

SloMo Hummingbirds

RICHARD: These clips show some hummingbird footage I captured in September 2005 with the Phantom V7.2 high-speed digital imaging camera from Vision Research in Wayne, New Jersey. Rather than using film, the camera continuously captures digital frames at speeds up to nearly 7,000 frames per second to Flash memory. From there, you can download it to a laptop and save it out as a regular digital video clip.

I set up the camera on our front deck on a drizzly Sunday afternoon, and pointed it at our feeder. HummerRig.jpg shows the setup - the camera is covered with an umbrella because of the rain.

Both clips show what we think is a young male Ruby-throated Hummingbird, probably born the previous Spring - males don't develop the characteristic red throat feathers until their second year. was shot at 1,000 frames per second, and plays back at 30 frames per second, so what you're seeing is 1/33rd of its original speed. This clip is about 1 minute long, so the hummingbird action took place in a little over 2 seconds. was shot at 2,000 frames per second, and plays back at 30 frames per second, or 1/66th of its original speed. The clip is also about 1 minute long, so what you see here actually took place in about 1 second.