Though they weren't given the ability to walk like other birds, their feet are a necessary part of feeding and fighting. They have powerful little pipes, and when they're in battles with other hummingbirds, they can scratch, grip and tear like ferocious little kittens.
This young male Ruby-throat made many returns to this Clematis flower, as did others, and although these flowers open up downward, they provide enough temptation to keep them returning. Like monkeys in a cage, these hummingbirds were swinging from the petals desperately trying to extract the nectar. Hummingbirds have sharp little talons, and even though they're rarely seen, they are a necessity for many purposes. Some flowers are very easy to access, but others like this particular Clematis can be extremely awkward. Their talons will often times pierce the petals while their entire body weight is being supported by those muscular little legs.
Typically no one sees the power behind the talons, feet and legs of hummingbirds, and even though they can only shuffle side to side when perched, the grip of those feet are incredibly powerful, even during the most violent winds.
N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. August 7, 2018. Juvenile Male Ruby Throat hummingbird.
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