hummingbird and tongue

The tongue of the hummingbird

This evening, as I reviewed some plant and hummingbird photos I took in the yard, this photo photo didn’t look right. It looks like the hummingbird has a very long beak.  We see hummingbirds all the time. Their beaks are long, but not that long!

hummingbird and tongue
hummingbird and tongue

Other photos of the same bird look normal — the hummingbird has a long, black beak.

the same hummingbird

A search of ‘hummingbird tongue’ produced a 2011 news story about a Harvard researcher studying hummingbird and dog tongues.  Hummingbird tongues are that long! It looks like the tongue is twice the length of the beak.

For the photographers, the photos were taken at 400mm and f5.6, then cropped for wordpress. Hummingbirds are tiny.


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I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

3 thoughts on “The tongue of the hummingbird”

    1. Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than good. Good for you to even know about hummingbird tongues.

      Were I to try this again, I’d work near plants with many flowers that attract hummingbirds. In California, this abelia plant and California fuschias do the trick. Second, if your camera supports continuous shooting, try that.


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