The hummingbird experience: when fortune shines

Taking a break

In my previous post, I lamented the photographic difficulties of catching hummingbirds in the process of feeding from actual flowers, as opposed to the relative ease of snapping their portraits while they sip contentedly from (thoroughly unphotogenic) cheap plastic feeders.

Female ruby-throated hummingbird bellies up to the bar (aka hummingbird bush, aka flame acanthus; more properly Anisacanthus quadrifidus)

This episode demonstrates the results of dogged perseverance in the face of ongoing failure: as I mentioned in reply to a comment by Mad Queen Linda, it seems that as soon as one aims a camera at them (particularly a camera mounted with a great long barrel-shaped lens), the hummers tend to vanish into the aether from whence they appeared.

Ah, yes. Idyllic shot of hummingbird feeding. Not so idyllic background with gray garden hose. (Sigh.)

Well, not so last evening, when one particular female rubythroat determined not to be bothered by the nearby presence of my veritable cannon of a Canon and proceeded to continue zipping from one blossom on the Turk’s cap and hummingbird bush to the next, busily tanking up on nectar.

Effortless hover

The result was a marathon session of Lightroom raw development, characterized by extensive culling and culminating in the quite acceptable results posted here.

Oh, I forgot to mention the lantana. Which keeps company with the Turk’s cap and hummingbird bush. NOTE pollen on hummer’s snout.

Hummingbirds typically hang around in our N TX neighborhood well into the Fall, with some lackadaisical individuals maintaining their backyard presence right up until Halloween, historically.

Pollen source identified

But after the masses have migrated southward, frenzied activity such as we’re seeing lately will have long since passed. It’s easy to guard a territory when you’re the only one in it.

Cheap plastic feeders: priceless


7 thoughts on “The hummingbird experience: when fortune shines

  1. Excellent pictures. We live about 4000ft in the mountains, and this summer has been filled with humming birds. If we sit quietly on the deck, they will even fly up close to my wife’s pink iPad!

    • Neat stuff Barney. Yeah, they just love anything shaded more or less red. I typically wear a red ball cap when in hummer country in the mtn.s – and it usually works!

    • Thanks DS! I tend to watch ’em more of an evening, with a slightly different beverage… but they’re still amazing!

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