8 min read

This Incredible Hummingbird Changes Colors With Every Turn

<p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piPbG-YPl-g">YouTube/LabofOrnithology</a><span></span> </p>

Can you count how many times this bird changes colors in less than 4 seconds?

YouTube/LabofOrnithology

He's an Anna's hummingbird, and technically, the bird's feathers never change color.

It's the angle, not the feathers, that determine what color we see.

"A good comparison would be a thin layer of oil on water," Kenn Kaufman, the National Audubon Society's field director, told The Dodo.

As for this particular Anna's hummingbird, let's slow the footage down, so we can catch every mesmerizing costume change.First, the feathers appear to shift from a piney shade of green to dark green.YouTube/LabofOrnithologySecond, the bird turns to toward the camera, and the feathers turn from dark green to hot pink.YouTube/LabofOrnithologyFinally, as the bird turns even farther past the camera, the hot pink feathers reveal a shimmering golden green.YouTube/LabofOrnithology"The male hummingbirds flash their colors for sexual selection," says Kaufman. While female hummingbirds do all the work such as incubating, building a nest and feeding their young, the male hummingbirds don't have much to do other than find a mate. Looking good and flashing colors is an important part of that process.He recalls an encounter with a male hummingbird in the wild. The bird perched in front of Kaufman and flashed his colors by simply tightening certain muscles."It's all instinctive," explained Kaufman. "They're doing all this without a mirror or anything."Whatever his technique is, it's working for him. Maybe we can take a sex tip from the male hummingbird: Check the mirror less, and trust your instincts.YouTube/LabofOrnithology

As for this particular Anna's hummingbird, let's slow the footage down, so we can catch every mesmerizing costume change.First, the feathers appear to shift from a piney shade of green to dark green.YouTube/LabofOrnithologySecond, the bird turns to toward the camera, and the feathers turn from dark green to hot pink.YouTube/LabofOrnithologyFinally, as the bird turns even farther past the camera, the hot pink feathers reveal a shimmering golden green.YouTube/LabofOrnithology"The male hummingbirds flash their colors for sexual selection," says Kaufman. While female hummingbirds do all the work such as incubating, building a nest and feeding their young, the male hummingbirds don't have much to do other than find a mate. Looking good and flashing colors is an important part of that process.He recalls an encounter with a male hummingbird in the wild. The bird perched in front of Kaufman and flashed his colors by simply tightening certain muscles."It's all instinctive," explained Kaufman. "They're doing all this without a mirror or anything."Whatever his technique is, it's working for him. Maybe we can take a sex tip from the male hummingbird: Check the mirror less, and trust your instincts.YouTube/LabofOrnithology

As for this particular Anna's hummingbird, let's slow the footage down, so we can catch every mesmerizing costume change.

First, the feathers appear to shift from a piney shade of green to dark green.YouTube/LabofOrnithologySecond, the bird turns to toward the camera, and the feathers turn from dark green to hot pink.YouTube/LabofOrnithologyFinally, as the bird turns even farther past the camera, the hot pink feathers reveal a shimmering golden green.YouTube/LabofOrnithology"The male hummingbirds flash their colors for sexual selection," says Kaufman. While female hummingbirds do all the work such as incubating, building a nest and feeding their young, the male hummingbirds don't have much to do other than find a mate. Looking good and flashing colors is an important part of that process.He recalls an encounter with a male hummingbird in the wild. The bird perched in front of Kaufman and flashed his colors by simply tightening certain muscles."It's all instinctive," explained Kaufman. "They're doing all this without a mirror or anything."Whatever his technique is, it's working for him. Maybe we can take a sex tip from the male hummingbird: Check the mirror less, and trust your instincts.YouTube/LabofOrnithology

First, the feathers appear to shift from a piney shade of green to dark green.

YouTube/LabofOrnithology

Second, the bird turns to toward the camera, and the feathers turn from dark green to hot pink.

YouTube/LabofOrnithology

Finally, as the bird turns even farther past the camera, the hot pink feathers reveal a shimmering golden green.

YouTube/LabofOrnithology

"The male hummingbirds flash their colors for sexual selection," says Kaufman. While female hummingbirds do all the work such as incubating, building a nest and feeding their young, the male hummingbirds don't have much to do other than find a mate. Looking good and flashing colors is an important part of that process.

He recalls an encounter with a male hummingbird in the wild. The bird perched in front of Kaufman and flashed his colors by simply tightening certain muscles.

"It's all instinctive," explained Kaufman. "They're doing all this without a mirror or anything."

Whatever his technique is, it's working for him. Maybe we can take a sex tip from the male hummingbird: Check the mirror less, and trust your instincts.

YouTube/LabofOrnithology