Hummingbirds 2022 — Part 6: videos of hummers in the rain

Per the title, I’m sharing a few videos I’ve shot. I have a number of videos, but I seldom share them. In part, because they usually need editing, but also because it’s a bit of a pain to upload them.

But, when I do, I do.

So, this year (2022, for future visitors), the hummers started swarming the feeders a bit early. By mid-July, I had to add a few feeders, and now, early August, I have 13 feeders up and have gone through about twenty pounds of sugar.

The hummingbirds seem to feed in waves, but they are especially active when it’s raining (which hasn’t been all that often here in Southern Illinois).

I’ve added music to most videos, but you can lower it or mute it by clicking on the blue bars on the lower right corner (smaller bar, lower volume). Part of the reason for the music is that those feeders are near the A/C unit, and when it kicks on, it’s pretty noisy.

I’m about 20-25 feet away, but the microphone on the P900 still picks up the sound. Also, whenever it rains, the sound from the highway — about a third of a mile from the house — is louder, and the way the patio is positioned acts like an amphitheater for picking up sound.

Anyway, on with more videos . . .

Although they are cute birds and fun to watch, they are pretty aggressive toward each other. At the 20-second mark of this next video, you can see one hummer poke the back of the head of another hummer that’s perched on the feeder. I often also see them poking the chest when facing each other. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, sometimes you can see feathers fly.

This next video shows a close-up of the action at one feeder. I left the soundtrack as recorded, and while it’s tempting to say the chirps are from the hummers, I am a fair distance away.

It could very well be the microphone is picking up some other bird, but it does sound like the chirping of hummers. There’s another set of feeders on the other side of the patio and closer, so I could be picking up the sound from those feeders. But, it could be finches and/or sparrows.

While it’s fun to watch them hurry hither and fro, I also like shooting in slow-motion. The Nikon P900 doesn’t pick up sound in slow motion, so that’s another reason I add music.

Those two videos are an example of how music can affect the interpretation of the video. Again, if you prefer, turn the sound off.

I mentioned the birds will swarm to a particular feeder or two. This next feeder is a hit and miss . . . sometimes, it will have up to six hummers, but occasionally sit empty as they swarm the other feeders. In this next video, a single hummer gets to enjoy the feeder in (relative) peace. I mean, they are seldom relaxed, but this is as close as it gets.

Note the raindrops hitting the feeders and the bird, but also notice the slight motion of the nectar when the bird is feeding. That tongue moves pretty fast to suck up the sugar water. Interested readers should do a bit of reading about a hummingbird’s tongue HERE.

When swarming, hummingbirds can drain a feeder in a few hours. We’re talking 16 ounces or more.

I mentioned some birds like to guard a particular feeder and are very successful even as other feeders are being mobbed. That means some feeders empty faster than others.

Since the sugar water degrades as it sits in the hot sun, I rotate feeders when I notice one is being used more than another so that I don’t waste too much of the mix.

This next video is one such bird. Whenever it leaves the perch, it’s chasing other birds away. There are three feeders in this particular location, and while it tries to guard all three, it concentrates more on one than the others.

One reason I like slow motion is that you can see stuff like the hummingbird blinking.

I’ll try and be more diligent about sharing videos, as some are pretty interesting, and not just of hummingbirds.

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


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