I always joke that I don’t photograph “little birds” because they are boring. That isn’t entirely true. While I may not focus on them regularly, when the opportunity is there I certainly will snap pics of them. They just require more patience than I have most times. 😉 Some, like hummingbirds, are a real challenge while the American white pelican is kind of goofy looking but just beautiful.
Hummingbird takes on a bald eagle
Well, this isn’t something you see very often! One of North America’s smallest birds challenging one of its biggest raptors! A bit of David versus Goliath in the bird world.
Last month while out with my protégé looking for moose, he spotted a bald eagle landing in a pine tree. That was a photo op that of course was too good to pass.
As it sat regally in the tree over a pond, we had hopes it would opt to go fishing. It never did but the big eagle’s presence seemed to greatly upset a broad-tailed hummingbird. Repeatedly the hummingbird flew around and dove toward the eagle. It never did make contact but it was doing its best to get the eagle’s attention and compel it to leave.
The eagle, ever stoic, did not acknowledge the hummingbird once, despite having this little bird buzzing around. It was pretty fun to watch and the pics really help show the tremendous size difference between these two extremes of birds.
Young rufous hummingbird puts on a show
I haven’t seen my friendly neighborhood hummingbirds at all this week so I have to think they have started their journey south. For these images, I am going back to early last month in the Colorado high country. This young male rufous put on a nice little show for me, hovering around and giving a glimpse of the coloring on its throat. The departure of the hummingbirds is a sign of the change of seasons and I will be anxiously awaiting their return next spring.
Evening sun lights up a hummingbird’s wings
The backyard hummingbirds continue to be quite hit or miss for me. Usually when I do see them, they just aren’t in a good spot for pictures. Late last week, this one paid my wife and I a visit as we were sitting out on the back patio. The angle wasn’t ideal but, in the end,, it actually worked out pretty well. The low sun on the horizon really lit up the little bird’s wings making them look translucent.
Bullying hummingbird moves to fend off an intruder
Ah yes, the male rufous hummingbird. Despite their diminutive size, they are notoriously aggressive and very quick to claim an area of their own, fending off any who dare intrude.
This little bully decided one of our hummingbird feeders at our campsite was his and his alone. He would sit in a nearby tree, standing watch, and the instant another hummingbird tried to eat, he would dive at Mach 1 and chase off the other.
The fast action was very tough for me to capture but I did get lucky with this one, catching him as he zoomed by in pursuit of an intruder.
Hummingbird goes for the backyard flowers
Activity in my backyard has been kind of slow for hummingbirds this year. However, one has recently discovered that our zauschneria has bloomed and it has started hanging out a bit more.
When we were working on our backyard flower garden, the botanist told us zauschneria is “like crack for hummingbirds”, that they love it. That has certainly turned out to be true since we first planted it a few years ago.
Hopefully this one will tell all his friends and give me some more photo ops.
Broad-tailed hummingbird shows off his colors
I have never had much luck getting pics of the males of this type of hummingbird, usually only getting the females and juveniles that lack that beautiful red throat. This handsome fellow though gave me some nice poses when he perched near our campsite in Gunnison National Forest. Soft, filtered light made for a pleasing pic that I like a lot.
Rufous hummingbird defends its territory
I didn’t do so well catching action shots of hummingbirds this past summer. I didn’t have many opportunities and when I had them, I usually seemed to blow the chance. This handsome orange fellow though gave me a few captures.
Taken at the end of July as we were spending a week camping in Arapaho National Forest, it was a cool, rainy day, keeping us cooped up at camp. Our entertainment for the day was watching this guy as he vigorously guarded a feeder, ensuring no other hummingbird got a single drink.
By now, most hummingbirds have started their migration south for the winter so I will be anxiously awaiting their return in the spring.
Hummingbird takes a break on a burnt tree
A pretty interesting image, I think, of one of the forest’s smallest residents hanging out on the some of the remnants of a massive wildfire.
These little guys are usually one the move but I was able to capture this female rufous hummingbird when it stopped briefly, allowing me to get her portrait. She was posing on a four-foot-high pine tree that was charred by the East Troublesome Fire last October.
Somewhat a sad scene but, the hummingbirds were more numerous than we have ever seen them in the area. With the trees gone, the sun was reaching areas of the forest floor that previously would have been shaded the majority of the day. This allowed the wildflowers to flourish and the hummingbirds were definitely taking advantage of it.
Ever seen a hummingbird with an itch?
Well, now you have. 😉
Meet Orange Joe. Joe is a rufous hummingbird and was a constant presence at one of our two feeders during our recent extended camping trip in the Colorado high country. Like most rufous hummingbirds, he was kind of a jerk.
He claimed one of the feeders as his and absolutely refused to allow any other hummingbirds to take a drink. Sometimes he would perch right on the feeder guarding it, other times he would perch in the surrounding trees, lying in wait and ready to dive bomb any who dared to try to partake. He was such a dominating presence, we gave him a name although I admit it isn’t very original. Haha.