This is NOT a short post . . . if one needs to take care of “business”, please do that before starting in on the the following.
Done? Wash your hands? I’m asking mainly the guys. Ladies, the vast majority of men do not wash their hands before leaving public restrooms. I can’t speak for what they do at home, but I’m betting at most a cursory sprinkle is all the “cleaning” they do.
The proper thing to do, per my simple way of looking at things, is for you ladies to repay them in kind.
OK, then. On with the business in hand.
Hummingbirds. I really like these little jewels, and in the summer many avail themselves of the feeders we put up.
I caught this sequence exactly as shown here.
I swing the camera to the feeder, setting up for his arrival . . .
They are cute, they are beautiful, but maddeningly territorial. And selfish. And mean.
There are a lot of photos in the associated SmugMug gallery (HERE). In fact, there are 180 photos. I will try to give a representative sample in this post, but hummingbird lovers should definitively check out the gallery (he says, knowing full well not 1-in-20 will bother). Those who do will enjoy larger photos with greater detail and better colors.
Some of the photos are from where I work. We hang four feeders in the windows (my office does not have a window), and those feeders get a lot of use. I don’t take many pictures of the hummers from work, but sometimes the opportunity presents itself.
Most shots are from my yard.
But mostly, I would catch them sampling the sugar water:
The difficulty was catching them in flight. I wasted many a pixels snapping at birds with reaction times faster than the shutter of the camera.
The majority of these shots are from around the feeders. At the peak of the migration hummingbirds are less fussy about me hanging around with the camera, and more concerned with having aerial battles with other hummingbirds.
It should be noted I’m mostly picking the photos showing light reflecting brilliant colors from their plumage.
The windows feeders are often in the shade, so the reflections are muted . . . but still interesting in their detail.
My mental image of feathers is of a lot denser and finer construction. The hummingbird feathers seem sparse, and and finely constructed
Occasionally, more so later in the season, there are multiple hummingbirds on the feeders. It’s an uneasy truce, with the birds nervously eying each other.
Here’s the close-ups of the above shot.
That’s the interesting thing about hanging around the feeders. The more aggressive birds tend to not want to come around when I’m there, although some do make wide passes at the feeders.
Me being there gives the more timid birds the come and feast.
With so many pictures, I catch the occasional “different shot”.
But mostly I catch them keeping an eye out for incoming birds.
The Calliope Hummingbirds are the most difficult to capture. They are nervous nillies who take flight at the slightest movement.
I do try to capture hummingbirds on the wing, and occasionally succeed. However, when airborne, they seldom stand still.
Most people miss seeing hummingbirds, even though they are all around. In part, that’s because they are small, but also because they blend in.
I do like how intent they look . . .
Rufouses are also difficult to capture.
I mentioned sometimes a couple of hummers tolerate their mutual presence at a feeder . . .
I missed the actual contact, but here is the result . . .
That was the first time I saw actual contact between hummingbirds. Up to then, I assumed all of the charges, aggressive behavior, and bravado was just that . . . no more than posturing. Not so.
The very next day I was clearing weeds from one of the back flower beds when I saw a hummingbird hovering near the fork of a tree. I could not figure out what it was doing, but it kept going back and forth at the tree. Then, it went all the way, and pokes a hummingbird I had not seen right off its perch. Again, feathers flew.
Mean little bastards!!
Well, if you made it all the way here, you might as well watch the movies.
First up, an un-edited 10 minutes at one of the feeders.
Second, aclose-up view. Originally 10 minutes, now not quite 10 minutes as I cut out some “nothing’s happening” times.
And yet another edited down to five minutes (5:35).
And this one has a sequence of a bee chasing hummingbirds away from the feeder (between the halfway and three-quarters mark).
OK, if you made it this far, you might as well go look at the SmugMug gallery (HERE) . . . because you are obviously desperate for more hummingbirds.
Thanks for perusing my stuff.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.