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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Why Hummingbirds (unlike fighter pilots) don't pass out under the immense "G forces" of flying.

As a Hummingbird speeds downward it’s flying, every second, almost 400 times the length of its body. To slow down, it spreads its wings like flaps on an airplane. At that moment its body is “pulling 10 Gs” - equivalent to ten times the gravitational pull of the earth (this is actually deceleration).

Fighter pilots often pass out above 7Gs since their blood gets unevenly distributed in the pilots’ circulatory system. Hummingbird’s relatively small size and high heart rate, however, prevent this.


Save your money for things that work      A large number of birds can be a bother. Things like fake owls and fake snakes don’t scare away birds – except for maybe the first half-hour after you put them up. It’s well known that birds quickly get accustomed to inanimate objects, whatever they’re shaped like. Pictures of things like hawks are useless too

What an effective “shoo” devise needs is a second component, in addition to the visual - irregular motion. Balloons or old CDs hung on a string have movement when they blow in the wind, which birds take notice of. Another effective thing is long strips of ribbon (4 feet or more) fastened at one end only, so they blow around a lot.


OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at in Denton.

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