Automobiles, tractors, and even aircraft can travel in both directions, but bicycles cannot. Many land-dwelling creatures can move in reverse, and the majority of fish swim forward, although some also possess the ability to swim in reverse. Conversely, flying backward is not a common trait among birds. Even hovering is a skill possessed by only a few avian species.
Hummingbirds are the sole creatures capable of sustained backward flight. In fact, they also possess the ability to fly upside down and hover in mid-air.
Their wings are designed with a ball and socket joint, which enables a wide range of motion, allowing them to move in various directions. Additionally, they achieve this by flapping their wings at a rapid rate of 20 to 80 times per second. Observing a hummingbird in flight, one can truly appreciate their remarkable acrobatic abilities.
As hummingbirds depend on nectar as their primary source of sustenance, they must seek out nectar as frequently as possible. Their unique ability to fly in reverse, sideways, and change direction with minimal effort enables them to gather nectar more swiftly and efficiently compared to flying solely upwards and forwards.