SOURCE: Avian Video Center

Avian Video Center

October 29, 2009 11:00 ET

Hummingbirds Shown to Be Single Moms, Deadbeat Dads, Testy Teens in New DVD

PALOS VERDES PENINSULA, CA--(Marketwire - October 29, 2009) - Hummingbirds are shown to be single moms, deadbeat dads and testy teens in a new DVD produced by Rolling Hills Estates-based Avian Video Center.

"Hummingbirds! Beauty and the Beast" depicts these and many other aspects of their lives in colorful footage of 57 species that occur in North, Central and South America. Much of their frenetic activity is shown in slow motion.

All 16 U.S. species are shown, together with 17 other bird species ranging from Fiji and the Galapagos Archipelago to the Americas.

"Many hummingbird fans think hummers are so sweet," DVD producer Tom Kaminski said. "But beneath their flashy colors and aerial antics lurk little beasts that live by the law of the jungle. Few birds are as self-centered and anti-social."

"While the female and her maturing brood are charming to watch," he added, "all will be fighting over territory once the fledglings become self-sufficient."

The new DVD shows an Allen's Hummingbird building her nest and raising her brood while the male is nowhere to be seen. It also shows hummingbirds' "rules of engagement" and attacks on one-another, as well as their non-avian competitors, feeding preferences, how they hover like no other bird, and other subjects.

"They can fly faster than the Peregrine Falcon, in terms of body lengths per second," Kaminski noted. "Their heart rate can rise to 1,260 beats per minute, higher than that of any other vertebrate, yet they can live more than 12 years.

"If our metabolic rate were comparable to theirs," he added, "we'd have to consume the caloric equivalent of more than 2,900 Oreo cookies daily just to keep up. The list goes on, as 'Hummingbirds! Beauty and the Beast' makes abundantly clear."

The 57-min. DVD is available through Avian Video Center, and other outlets.

EDITORS NOTE: Please contact Kaminski for a copy of the DVD, and for phone or on-air interviews. View the 1 min. 25 sec. intro at

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