This story is one of the reasons I mix science and nature on ThisWildLife. Without new high speed photography and thermal imaging tools, and without the scientists doing work in the field, this Nature film on hummingbirds could never have been made.
Filmmaker Ann Johnson Prum calls hummingbirds nature’s heroes. This would not have been news to Alexander Skutch, whose brilliant book on hummingbirds explained how hummingbird’s unique method of trapline feeding works and discussed the consumption of insects by these tiny creatures. Much of what the film shows was known, but was difficult to show. Science of photography and computing technology has made this possible.
When you have nine minutes, please watch this feature about the making of the Nature program. The secrets of how the photographs were made are revealed. Then, you can catch the video itself on Nature.