Can Hummingbirds Fly In The Rain? The 2 Most Fascinating Attributes That Birds Rarely Have

Last Updated on June 6, 2022 by Guillermina

Read on and find out can hummingbirds fly in the rain.

One of our favorite things in the spring and summer is to see hummingbirds zooming around colorful flowers and feeders. Is there anything more exciting than that? But as beautiful as the weather is, sometimes we are surprised by sudden rain.

Rarely do any of us enjoy being out in such ugly weather, it’s hard to drive a car, let alone walk down the street, so what about these little birds? Can hummingbirds fly in the rain? Stay with us and find out.

The Mechanics Of Flight

Before we answer the question “can hummingbirds fly in the rain”, let us tell you a few sentences about the mechanics of their flight. The unique physical adaptations of hummingbirds are the essential things that distinguish them from other bird species. Namely, most birds around the world fly upstrokes and downstrokes and accordingly generate all their buoyancy and power on the lower impact (downstroke) of each wing swing.

The same is not true for hummingbirds. These little birds actually stroke their wings forward and backward, rotating up to 180 degrees in the shoulder to rotate the wing. Moving this way, hummingbirds basically form a horizontal figure eight in the air with each stroke of the wing.

They have the ability to swing their wings 10-200 times per second, depending on the flight pattern. It is certainly interesting to note that smaller specimens flutter their wings faster to stay in the air due to the smaller surface area that can withstand their weight. Furthermore, did you know that these little birds can fly up to 60 miles per hour in a steep courtship dive? Amazing isn’t it? However, speeds of 20-45 miles per hour are more common in straight, steady flights.

Now that you understand the basics of flying, we can offer you the answer to the question “can hummingbirds fly in the rain”. So, let’s get to the point.

 Can hummingbirds get too wet?

Can Hummingbirds Fly In The Rain?

As much as this creates a problem for us, we cannot say that the same is true for these little birds. Although at first, they look like fragile and vulnerable little creatures, they are actually tough little survivors.

So, can hummingbirds fly in the rain? In short, yes, they are not troubled by the rain. Many wonder how this is even possible. However, these birds possess two extraordinary characteristics:

  • the ability to shake the rain off their bodies while flying,
  • the ability to adjust their body position while flying and hovering so that they can fly safely to their destination.

How Do They Fly In The Rain?

Now that you know the answer to the question “can hummingbirds fly in the rain,” it’s time to explain to you how that’s even possible. Anyone who took enough time to observe these cute creatures could notice that they were flying almost non-stop. – No wonder if we take into account their rather ravenous appetite.

It’s really weird that during the flight they don’t seem to care about the raindrops falling on them. So, what makes them so much easier to fly in these conditions? Let’s find out.

 Do hummingbirds mind the rain?

Feathers

Just like all other birds in the world, hummingbirds are equipped with feathers that help repel water as well. However, you must know that this feather repels water, but it is not waterproof. What is certainly most interesting to mention are the 2 most fascinating attributes that hummingbirds have, shaking off the rain and changing flight patterns. This makes it much easier for them to cope with difficult weather conditions.

Shake It Of

Numerous studies have been conducted that have confirmed that hummingbirds have the ability to shake off water from their feathers during flight and at rest. This process is so fast, takes an incredible 0.1 seconds, and can remove almost every drop of rain from the feathers.

If you are in the mood, we have one little experiment for you. Are you ready? Simply shake your head like you want to say no – fast back and forth, and be careful not to hurt yourself. These little creatures can still fly during this process. Amazing thing!

You can also take a look at this short video provided by the BBC to see how hovering hummingbirds can cope with wet weather.

Kinematics

As for the kinematics of flying in bad, wet weather, only a few, or in most cases none, adjustment was needed. But we must note that the same does not apply to severe weather, because in such situations they had to change the position of the body and the speed of the wings.

That would be it, now you know the only true answer to the question “can hummingbirds fly in the rain”.

Learn more about the research by clicking here.

Final Verdict – Can Hummingbirds Fly In The Rain?

The world can be a pretty rough place for these sensitive creatures. However, they still somehow manage to implement coping strategies to survive each day. So, can hummingbirds fly in the rain? The answer is yes, moreover, they are excellent flyers who have the ability to fly upwards, backward, and sideways as in almost all weather conditions.

Have you ever seen hummingbirds flying in the rain? Write us your answers in the section below.

Read this interesting article as well

Are Hummingbirds Afraid Of Bees? Top 5 Tips for Ensuring The Best Feeding Conditions

FAQs

Do Hummingbirds Mind The Rain?

We can't say that they don't really care about the weather, but the rain doesn't bother them anyway.

Can Hummingbirds Get Too Wet?

Hummingbirds can't get too wet in bad rainy weather, because they are equipped with feathers that help repel water, have the ability to shake off water, and can adapt their flight to different weather conditions.

Where Do The Hummingbirds Go When It Rains?

Like all other animals, hummingbirds seek refuge in bad weather. Accordingly, they will most often take shelter in dense vegetation on the downland side of the trunk.

Do Wind Chimes Scare Hummingbirds Away?

Every unusual sound, including wind chimes, scares hummingbirds.

DutchEnglishFrenchGermanItalianPortugueseSpanish