Wednesday, July 24, 2013

This means (a very tiny) war...

Three hummingbirds have been battling for feeder rights in our back yard.
I wish I spoke hummingbird; there is high pitch cheeeeep that is sounded in each engagement.
Wonder what the birds are saying as they fight? 

This morning I looked out our kitchen window.
The Alpha hummer was on the look out.

I thought I would try to take his photo through the window.
Not good enough.

Although it is interesting how the orange chin feathers are black when sunlight is not on them.

Dang it...they are just so fast!

I gave up trying to get a good shot through the window.
It wasn't too hot outside yet.
I settled in outside on to the deck couch and tried to focus in.
See that little white spot in the middle of the power line?
That's my alpha bird.
He is a Rufous Hummingbird.
Tate came sauntering up; he has been getting a real kick out of watching the hummers doing battle from the deck railing.
I scooped him up and dumped him inside.
He and the rest of the cats are not pleased with my choice of activities.
They are out of cat food...I need to run and buy more but I just want to get a good hummer photo first.

Not bad...

Darn it...the bird blinked.

The "thing" one must get in bird photography is a perfect white reflection dot in the center of the bird's eye.
Not quite there yet.

The bird chases off, then returns to the power line.

I am trying to get the bird's beard in full color as well.
No luck this shot.


Pretty good...

Oh cool!
Great pose!

I like it!

Another fly off and then a new pose.

Just not quite there yet...

At this point a nosy squirrel popped up on the fence.
He begins to sound off...and doesn't stop for the rest of my time on the deck.
(I kind of like his big old gnarly paws though.)

The other Rufous hummer in the yard is making a raid on the feeder.
He gets a couple of sips before alpha hummer buzzes him off.

Now THAT'S what I want to see in a Rufous hummer photo.

Pretty good too...

Oh yeah!
Jack pot!

Each tiny throat feather is fully lit.

The eye dot is clearly defined, and the tiny throat feathers lay shingled on the smooth breast feathers.
Love it!

Clicking away madly...

Happy am I!

Aw...he blinked.
But I caught the slight greenish rainbow affect on the side of his neck.

I have NO idea how I make this kind of flip book style photo happen.
All I did was load all the photos into Google+, then went to Blogger, hit new post, hit the add photo, selected Picasa Web Albums, selected the photos I wanted from the load and Google+ just created this little flip book action from the photos.
I think it is neat!

I always think of hummers with fuchsia colored necks since I grew up with Anna hummers in So. Calif.
Occasionally we would get the Black-chinned hummers, the kind with a violet neck.
This yellow-orange humming bird deal is a totally new look in my world.

I was shooting with my telephoto lens and I kept changing my location on our deck.
I think I want an even higher quality telephoto lens now.
I've gotten used to the crispness of my 60 mm lens; there must be a lens that will deliver both the telephoto and the crisp at the same time.
(For a lot of $$$$ of course...)

At this point nosy squirrel was about three feet over my head.

He apparently feels that I have NO business being in his back yard.
Not only is he nosy, he is bossy too.

And then the light changed a bit...and suddenly I was seeing a completely orange humming bird on the line!
Hence the bird's name: means red.

Hummingbirds are kind of magical, don't you think?

(About 60% of the photos I took came out looking like this one.  Getting a focus on the bird instead of the tree in the back ground takes really steady hands.)




Now where was I again?

(This alpha humming bird gig must be exhausting!)

Must stay awake...

Good luck with that little bird!
I'll leave it to you.
Off to get cat food...aren't you glad?


Vee said...

Very cool! Where's your tripod? I am very impressed with your steady hand and your patience.

ellen b. said...

These are great shots, Jill.

Judy said... really captured them! Love the 'motion shot' too.

Anonymous said...

Love your hummingbird photos. I completed a 1000 piece puzzle of humingbirds of America last winter. A group of hummingbirds is called a choir. Cool, eh?

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

The motion shots are a new feature in Picasa editing--they combine photos that are taken in close sequence into a "flip book" type movie :}

I love hummingbirds! I am seeing my first this summer in my backyard. I can't put up a feeder as it attracts bears and other critters but the hummingbirds visit some red flowers I have growing in my yards.

Rosella said...

Wow - you got some great shots! I love the hummingbirds and how territorial they are. We have way less this year however?

Pondside said...

We've watched the same sort of battle in the air around our feeders too - but we don't have the squirrels. Your photos are, as always, just beautiful.

Lovella ♥ said...

Those are really great hummingbird shots. I am quite impressed with how clear you were able to get them.

Maureen said...

You got some amazing photos! Your patience paid off! So lovely!

Kathy said...

Those photos are amazing!!!!! Love those little moving!

Ocean Soul said...

Way to work the GIF! Don't even get me started about high quality telephoto lenses that capture everything that a prime lens captures…KA-CHING for sure…$2500 for the 70-200 Canon lens. You're doing pretty great with what you got!