Count the Hummingbirds — Late Summer 2021

I usually have a few “find the hummingbird” photos each hummingbird season. I’ve already had a few, and I’ll likely have a few more.

However, today I’m doing something different, and you’ll soon understand why.

That video was shot with the P900. Unfortunately, I forgot to tweak the settings for the video so that the exposure doesn’t change. Meaning, zooming in and out will change the metering and hence how the video looks. Still, you get the picture … er … video.

Note: the videos are probably better watched on YouTube, but regardless of where you watch them, make sure you set the quality to at least 1080p HD. The spoked wheel next to the “YouTube” name (lower right) is where you can set the quality.

Note 2: the regular speed D7500 and Note 20 videos should also offer the choice of 2160p 4K (60fps for the Note 20), and if you choose that, also click on the full screen option. Even if you don’t have a 4K-capable screen, the video is better. BUT . . . be aware those take a few moments longer to stream (lots of data to download).

I’m only kidding about counting the hummingbirds. I try when I’m out there, but all I can tell you is that there are more than fifteen and less than thirty . . . I think.

The P900 is a little better with video when you zoom in a bit and the scene is fairly static . . . or as static as a bunch of crazed hummingbirds can be.

I always wonder — while surveying the scene as a whole — any hummingbirds actually get to drink. I mean, those feeders hold 32 oz. and I usually fill them three-fourths full, and that lasts about a day to a day and a half. I don’t mean one . . . I mean, all five get changed every other day . . . as well as the other six in other locations around the house. By the end of this season, it looks like I’ll have gone through about thirty to thirty-five pounds of sugar in making the solution for the feeders (1 cup sugar per 4 cups water).

By the way, I used to space the feeders out to minimize having one bird “guard” the feeders. It turns out that’s the wrong strategy. Clumping them like you see there is a lot better, and, in fact, these feeders empty a lot faster than the other feeders. It’s almost like now that these are here, the others get almost no visitors. Next year, I’ll likely have two areas with six feeders each as opposed to having eleven feeders spaced out around the house.

Here’s another close-up video.

I also have some decent photos I’ll be sharing, but this post is all videos.

Counting hummingbirds in the first video was a bit difficult because of the poor quality of the movie (you should be playing all of these videos at the highest quality — 1080p HD), but the next one is a little easier because it’s the D7500 and shot in 4K . . . I expect an accurate count!

These scenes happen each year around this time. You have the birds that had settled here getting ready to migrate, but you also have the birds that had gone all the way up into Canada starting to move south in preparation to jumping across the Gulf of Mexico to their winter grounds (LINK and LINK).

Basically, not unlike humans) they feed and build up fat reserves since there aren’t many feeders in the middle of the Gulf (although some birds follow the coast for their trip to Mexico). Amazing that these small birds can fly 500 miles over open water (they fly very low, just above the waves).

I‘ve shot slow motion before, and I liked the slow-motion recordings of their vocalization. By the way, I no longer hear them live (I’m losing my hearing), but I can hear them when I record them (other birds, as well). Here are two videos in slow motion shot with my Note 20 (slo-mo only shoots in 1080p HD). The closest feeder is about six feet from me.

These videos are a bit longer, but worth watching if you want to see their behavior.

Of course, I also shot some Note 20 videos at regular speed (2160p 60fps 4K). Since I’m closer, perhaps this video will facilitate the count (assuming you didn’t count the birds in the slow-motion videos).

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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