Saturday August 25th was our first Hummingbird Lab. Over the years students have given me the bodies of dead hummingbirds that died in their garages. Apparently, when the car goes in and the garage door closes, the poor birds die from heat exhaustion.
We learned how to make hummiingbird feeders using empty water bottles, yellow and red flowers, and tube stoppers.
I was able to borrow the Proscope IPad Microscope
We had so much fun looking at the feathers Hummingbird feathers are incredibly strong and light horny structures that form the plumage of hummingbirds. The hollow feather shafts support tightly hooked barbs and barbules. Pull feather barbules against their grain and the hooks separate to leave gaps in the feather; smooth them and the feather is once again streamlined for flight
Hummingbirds beat their wings 38 to 78 times a second while flying. Feathers are important for aerodynamics, but they have other important functions as well, such as insulating birds from harsh temperatures and waterproofing them from rain.
Here is the dried tongue of the hummingbird. Did you know that the ancient Roman's considered this a delicacy?
We looked at their nests and discovered that hummingbirds use spider webs to hold them together and to make them stretch to accommodate their growing young.