In this activity, children see if they deserve to flap their arms as rapid as a hummingbird flaps its wings. All you need is a stopwatch.


By nationwide Society


By nationwide Society

Broad-tailed Hummingbird. Photo: roger Levien/ Photography Awards

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You are watching: How many times hummingbird wings flap


Hummingbirds are exceptional flyers. Lock are one of the few animals that have the right to hover, which means remaining in one location in the wait without moving forwards or backwards, up or down. To carry out this, they have wings shame to the purpose and really strong muscles. And also they flap your wings really fast—faster than any type of other bird at approximately 70 wingbeats per second. That adds increase to much more than 4,000 wingbeats every minute!

In this activity, children see if lock canflap their arms as rapid as a hummingbird flaps that wings. All you need is a stopwatch.

First, have your boy or childrenhold your arms out choose wings. Askthem to exercise flapping. See exactly how long they have the right to keep up straightforward flapping pace, around one flap per second, before they get tired.

Ask if their arms pains a little bit from flapping. They should notification that their outer chest muscles and arm muscles are tired. Define that because we to walk to get around, ours leg muscles are regularly more fully developed than our chest muscles. Some birds, choose turkeys, chickens, ostriches, and also other walking birds, likewise have stronger leg muscles. Hummingbirds room such great flyers, they nearly never walk. What carry out they think hummingbird legs look like? (Answer: They’re tiny!)

To to compare the various wing win of birds, your child will take part in a soup Beat Challenge! present them the wing Beat Table below. Asking them do a hypothesis and also guess i m sorry birdthey think they can match.

Start v the flapping price of an American Crow, an American Robin, climate a absent Pigeon. By the time you obtain to the european Starling, theyshould find it impossible to save up.​You can remind your son that it’s yes if castle can’t beat their arms that fast—birds have adapted their bodies and also muscles to be able to fly quickly!

Bird Species

Wing Beats/10 second

American Crow


American Robin


Rock Pigeon


European Starling


Black-capped Chickadee


Broad-Tailed Hummingbird


Math extension: calculate wingbeats per minute, based on your 10-second wingbeat price (multiply by six). If you have multiple human being in her house, kids can graph every person’s wingbeat rate.

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This activity was adjusted for the home from brand-new Mexico'sCamp programs at the Randall Davey center & Sanctuary.