Meeting Abstract

54.6  Sunday, Jan. 5 14:30  Shape-shifting through apertures: kinematic strategies and correlated flight metrics in Anna’s Hummingbirds (Calypte anna) BADGER, M.*; SMILEY, A.; YE, J.; MCCLAIN, K.; DUDLEY, R.; Univ. of California, Berkeley; Univ. of New Mexico; Univ. of California, Berkeley; Univ. of California, Berkeley; Univ. of California, Berkeley badger@berkeley.edu

Hummingbirds frequently fly near or within foliage while foraging for flowers, pursuing arthropods and conspecifics, nesting, or evading predators. Within dense vegetation, a typical flight path consists of a sequence of maneuvers through consecutive small openings linked by translational flight segments. Because hummingbirds can fly sideways, ascend vertically, and also hover, multiple techniques may be used to negotiate constrictions. How do the shape and size of an opening affect a bird’s technique? And how do metrics of flight performance such as translational and rotational velocities relate to aperture attributes? We trained foraging Anna’s Hummingbirds to fly through elliptical apertures within a vertical partition. Aperture width and height ranged between one half and one wingspan in length. Using high-speed video to determine multiple kinematic parameters in three dimensions, we identified several different maneuvers that hummingbirds use to traverse small openings. Studying hummingbird flight within confined spaces and the clutter of natural vegetation will allow better understanding of their ecological capacity as pollinators, and can inspire new designs and kinematic strategies for small flying robots.