Inspiration for the bird was derived from hummingbirds, with slow motion reference useful as a starting point for the hovering animation. However, because the bird reads as much larger, an interesting hybridised wing motion was developed that followed the same figure of 8 cycle of hummingbirds, but had a degree of secondary motion in the tip feathers derived from hawks.
While the bird is driven around the environment programmatically, an animation controller was setup to respond procedurally to the birds motion and interpolate between a number of animations. Broadly speaking, the flight animation of the bird would dynamically change depending on its speed and whether it was climbing or diving. The result was a very natural and realistic flight animation that would allow the bird to be programmatically moved through the environment.
Additionally, when the bird feeds from a flower, the colour and emissivity of the bird shifts from lavender to blue, and an additional feeding animation is overlaid. This process triggers animation on the flower creating a rich, living world.