Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hummers

My parents have been putting out humming bird feeders for about fifteen years. In the last three, the population visiting their house has exploded. Suddenly, the four feeders have to bed refilled almost once a day. During the 'hot' season (ie, right now, after they've returned from their wintering grounds and are setting up nests and sitting eggs) there's an almost constant presence at the feeders. Males establish territories around each feeder and fight each other and watch females come and drink. They're fierce little things. As my mom says, if they were the size of magpies, you wouldn't be able to hike in the woods without body armor.

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I've never tried to photograph humming birds before. My lens was barely up to the task, but we made out OK.


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4 comments:

Retrieverman said...

Rufous hummingbirds!

Those are the ones that make it as far north as Alaska.

Typically, on my side of the continent, we have only ruby-throated hummingbird, but on occasion, one of these little beauties shows up.

One of my prize possessions is a hummingbird nest that my grandmother found in the early 80's.

She found it after the birds had already left for the winter.

Christopher said...

Beautiful shots! When I tried to capture some of these in college, the shutter was so fast that the background was blacked out like it was night, although it was day.

http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=1525127

CyborgSuzy said...

Christopher, great photos, vey clear, did you use a flash? I have plans to tack up some cloth behind the feeder (if dad will let me!) and wait for a sunnier day. I know they'll let me get closer.

Christopher said...

There was a halogen torchiere lamp directly under the feeder, and I had the on-body flash from my Canon up. Evening summer light wasn't enough to expose the background at all.

I think I was using the 75-300, else a 28-105. Had the tripod set up and waited.

I remember that the lamp was directly blow the feeder because either a drop of nectar or the bird emptying its bladder caused a puff of steam.