A hummingbird can hover in place in a strong wind, remaining stationary even when the wind speed constantly varies as much as 15%. In contrast, the typical aerial drone can stay steady only when the wind speed varies up to 7%.
Researchers at Harvard and RMIT University in Melbourne wanted to understand why in order to improve drone design. So they placed hummingbirds in a wind tunnel. They found that hummingbirds, which beat their wings 40 times a second, can vary the angle and position of their wings and tails to a wide degree and implement these changes within a single wingbeat. You can read more about this study at the New York Times (warning: auto-start video).
-via The Presurfer