Hummingbirds rarely sit still for long and when they do, pointing a camera at them usually seems to put an end to their break. Back in July I found a very willing photo subject though. It had taken to some roadside flowers and was not about to go far from them, jealously guarding them against any intruders. This afforded me a nice photo op with some cool portraits including this one that shows off its beautiful plumage including that colorful throat.
A fun, fleeting encounter from a camping trip a couple of weeks ago in Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Colorado. This little one paid our campsite a visit briefly one morning and took great interest in us. As it buzzed around, I was furiously trying to get pictures of it, lucking out with this one when it was only about five feet away. A fun shot that really shows off the details in its plumage.
Taken last month during our time in Gunnison National Forest, this guy was a regular visitor, jealously guarding a feeder he had claimed as his own. One evening as we were enjoying a pre-dinner adult beverage, he was particularly active, regularly flying within a few feet of us giving me plenty of photo opportunities. Here he shows off that gorgeous ruby neck against a pretty sky.
Oh yes, he was quite the handsome one and she appeared to be taking note. 😉
That isn’t quite what was really happening. In truth, this guy was a big bully, not wanting to allow any other hummingbirds access to the feeder. He would stake out a spot in a nearby bush where he could keep watch and the second another hummingbird tried to get something to eat, he would begin harassing them.
While he got this female’s attention, she wasn’t easily intimidated and stayed put, going right back to eating. The hummingbirds provided a ton of entertainment on this camping trip a couple of weeks ago and some cool photo ops.
Kind of a fun, different angle of one of these little, fast movers taken a couple of days ago in Gunnison National Forest.
We had a fantastic time camping in the great outdoors and enjoying the much cooler weather at the higher altitude. The scenery was breathtaking as always and while I didn’t capture pics of a lot of wildlife, I did get a ton of images of these birds.
This particular guy was very territorial, aggressively ensuring no others intruded on his area near our camp. In keeping watch and chasing off intruders, he gave me some cool shots including this one when he hovered 10 feet over my head. You get a nice look at those wings and tail as well as his awesome, colorful throat.
Well, since these little dudes don’t seem to like the milkweed I planted in my yard just for them, I had to travel for these. Haha. Actually, it was just a coincidence in that the photo subject I was seeking this past Sunday wasn’t cooperating and this handsome fellow did. He wasn’t too keen on letting me get as close as I would have liked so I kept my distance. It was heavily shadowed and early in the morning so shooting conditions weren’t ideal, but it still made for a fun bunch of images and my first hummingbirds of the season.
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.
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.
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.
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.