Shortly after the arrival of the twentieth century, natural selection replaced the homing pigeon with the radio wave. This evolutionary leap resulted in the emergence of electrobiology as an academic field. Other members of the animal kingdom underwent a similar metamorphosis, though there is little agreement about what became of the barber’s hummingbird.

Before its disappearance, this avian was the largest of the trochilidae family, weighing between four and five kilograms, and possessing a long, slender beak which could exceed ten inches in length. Its insidious name referred as much to the medieval meaning of "barber" as it did the modern; its beak, which it would sharpen against stones in its subterranean nest, was used to slide through the sagittal sutures present in the skulls of most fauna, allowing it to burrow harmlessly into the space between their brain lobes.

Though this intrusion left behind a small wound and uneasy dreams, the hummingbird didn’t actually drink any of the humors of other animals. Despite rumors of vampirism, it maintained its metabolism by boring into trees for their sap, which provided enough fuel to support its helicopter-like locomotion. Its interaction with the brain is believed to have been some form of primordial interface, whereby the bird could obtain sensory information from the neurons of other lifeforms to chart its own migration. However, this had the consequence of cross-pollinating memories between affected animals, as well as between people, often causing their thoughts to align with the wrong places and identities. 

This cross-pollination was briefly weaponized during the first world war, where barber's hummingbirds were loosed upon the battlefield by the Austro-Hungarian army. This allowed soldiers to dream the memories of their adversaries, revealing plans and weaknesses abound. The enforced transparency went both ways, however, and the tactic revealed much more than merely enemy secrets. As a result, what began as proliferation ended in extermination, and many of their beaks were repurposed as bayonets.

The Great War is traditionally believed to have been an extinction-level event for the barber’s hummingbird, as the species hasn’t been seen in the wild ever since. Even so, as scholars like Jung and Persinger have noted, the cross-pollination of memories in dreams has continued well beyond this point. To account for this, electrobiological researchers have proposed that, in a similar manner to the homing pigeon’s metamorphosis, the barber’s hummingbird is the common ancestor of our very own brain waves.

The barber's hummingbird could gain knowledge from other animals, but not wisdom.

As of yet, there is very little scholarship on hummingbird-squid symbiosis.