Tag Archives: hummingbird

Corporate Behavior

Corporate Behavior

Even the smallest and/or prettiest of creatures can be territorial and exhibit more than just a little bit of visciousness in the daily fight for survival. Heaven knows I’ve experienced it within the human workplace, hence the sarcastic title.

 
I’ve been rescuing photos from a dying portable hard drive. The hummingbird images I captured between 2012 – 2014 are favorites of mine and they needed to be saved to another drive.
 
As a photographer, you can learn quite a bit about birds or other wildlife by simply watching and photographing them on a regular basis. During that span of years my mother and I hung out those hummingbird feeders in Texas, I would be over there every morning and/or evening to photograph these soft, tiny little birdies. The more I watched, the more I learned they aren’t quite as sweet as everybody might think. Luckily, this extended observation led to some very interesting photos.
Canon 1DX and 100-400mm lens
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 1DX, birds, Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, hummingbirds, Life, nature, Photography, Texas

Hummingbird Goodness

Sharing Closeup

On my Facebook page, I have attempted to convey the sheer numbers of hummingbirds that visit the three feeders my mother set out (and that I refill) with words.  While that is nice for the imagination, words just don’t convey what I see every weekend morning at 7AM, right on the dot (hummingbirds are – apparently – very punctual little creatures).  So below are images I took this morning (9/29/2013)  of each of the feeders at a little after 7AM.

The Diners At Feeder 1

This is the most popular feeder (for whatever reason).  I counted 16 hummingbirds in this one image.  There were so many fighting for a place at the feeding holes that they gently rocked the feeder back and forth with the force of their landing, perching, getting knocked off  of, and/or colliding with, the feeder in a frenetic attempt to get in a sip or two before being chased away.

The Diners At Feeder 2

I counted 10 birds at this 2nd-most popular feeder .  You must look carefully in order to find that bit of tail, wing, or head indicating the presence of a hummingbird to add your count.

The Diners At Feeder 3

I counted 8 hummingbirds in this image.  And while I won’t call this the least-popular feeder, it is the less-visited of the three feeders.  There are an inordinate number of bugs at this spot, which can be a bother, or – if the bug is small enough – an extra bit of protein for the little hummer, since hummingbirds feed on small insects and spiders in addition to nectar.

The air was thick with the sound of humming – because there were so many birdies zipping back and forth, the decibel level of the humming noise had increased, I kid you not.  Hummingbirds would zip past me, sometimes less than a foot away from me.  A few hovered near me to check me out, but upon deciding I was not nectar-worthy, they would fly away.

Pulling The Head Feathers

Of course, I witnessed more of what I jokingly call “corporate behavior”.  These little “pecks” and “feather pulling” to the head were so quick, and yet to a 3.5-inch hummingbird (yes, that is how tall a ruby-throated hummingbird measures), those little pecks and pulls might have hurt just a little.  I dunno.  I *did* think it was funny to see so many hummers visiting the feeders that showed off spots of ruffled-up feathers on their heads and backs.

Becky And The Hummingbird

Most of the hummingbird photos you have seen on these  blog posts are for sale as prints on my website (just click on one of the photos to get to the hummingbird gallery).  I’ve also created a couple of hummingbird calendars for sale on my zazzle storefront (just click on one of the calendar images on the left column of the screen) as well as a number of neat book options (writing journals, address books, and 2014 weekly planners) – just click on the icons for those books on the left column of the screen.

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Filed under birds, hummingbirds, nature, Photography, Texas, wildlife

Corporate Behavior

Corporate Behavior

Well, now I know: we humans are not the only species within the animal / bird kingdom to practice climbing over another’s back to get ahead at the office.

Ouch

Nor are humans the only ones to have a pecking order.

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Filed under Attitude, birds, hummingbirds, Humor, nature, Photography, Texas, wildlife

Hummingbird Funkiness

For the past three weeks, I’ve been photographing the hummingbirds flocking to the three feeders in my mother’s backyard. During that period of time, I’ve gotten some really neat shots and have watched some funky behavior exhibited by these amazing little creatures.

Ruffling Feathers

Ever have one of those days??  Or maybe the caption should be “Quit Ruffling My Feathers!”

Sharing

Sharing

Pandemonium

Pandemonium!

This Seats Taken CROP

This seat is taken!

Back Off Dude

I Said, Back Off, Dude!

More to come.  In the meantime, visit this link to see more hummingbird photos taken over the years.  Visit my website and select from the menu items to see my hummingbird calendar (another is in the making) and the hummingbird-themed (and very useful) book products I’ve created (more to come here, too).

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Filed under birds, Flash Photography, hummingbirds, Humor, nature, Photography, Texas

I Wore Red

Photographing The Hummingbird

Photographing The Hummingbird

Missed It

Today was the first time I’ve used a tripod to try and capture hummingbird images.  I decided to pull out my other camera and tripod and get some “selfies”.

I wore red.  I looked shleppy.  But it worked.

Red shirt, red (wool felt) hat, and covered my lens with a red kerchief.  It’s hot and humid in southeast Texas right now, and the sweat was rolling down my face and into my eyes (remember, wool felt hat).  I couldn’t really *see* the hummers, so instead I fired off the remote shutter release whenever I *heard* the familiar humming sound of those tiny birds.  Note that little green blur above the flash in the last image.

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Filed under Flash Photography, hummingbirds, Photography

Hummingbird Season

A Flash Of Red

It’s September – that time of year again here in southeast Texas, when the ruby-throated hummingbirds make their way through my mother’s backyard on their migration route to Central America and Mexico.

Red-Flecked Throat CROP

So on September 7, I helped my mother hang out 3 nectar feeders.   The next day, I went over to her house with camera and flash in hand.  I didn’t see a thing at any of the feeders.

Then, I heard it.

That familiar little twittering sound the little hummers make.  I looked over to one of the wire tomato stands used to prop up the tomatoes Mom had planted in her plastic tubs, and there he was, his ruby throat flashing in the morning light.

One

Since then, I’ve counted up to about 8 birds swirling and fighting around the feeders.  The males arrive first to stake out their feeding/breeding territory, so I’m thinking the females aren’t too far behind.

Diagonals

In the 6 days I’ve been going over there for photos, I have captured more great images of this tiny bird’s ruby flash than in any of the other years of hummingbird photography put together.  And this is only the beginning of the season!

For those of you wondering what I use camera-wise:

  • The longest focal length I have in a lens, which is a Canon 100-400.  The longer the lens, the less you will scare away the birdies.
  • A camera with a fast fps (which is my Canon 1-DX).
  • I put a flash on my camera, too.  Flash is the best way to really freeze the action and to get the color and detail of their jewel-like iridescent feathers.
  • I set my focus to Servo.  Servo tracks the movement of your subject and keeps that subject in focus.

I’ve taken pictures of these hummingbirds without using a flash, and sometimes accidentally without putting my focus on Servo.  The photos generally end up totally worthless.  As it is,because these little birds are so darned fast, probably 3/4 of my images are of a feeder with no bird at it because they’ve zipped away.

Tanking Up CROP

NECTAR RECIPE

  • 1 cup white sugar (do NOT use honey)
  • 4 cups water

Boil the sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves and set aside to cool before filling your feeders.  NO NEED to use red food  coloring – besides, anything in there except the sugar and water is always subject to hurt the hummingbirds in some way.

To this end, make sure you change out the sugar solution and thoroughly wash your feeders every 4-5 days, as the solution can sour or ferment or get cloudy and mold spots can develop on the inside of the feeder – all of which can make the hummingbirds ill and even be fatal.

Hummingbirds remember where the good feeding spots are, so you definitely want to make sure you keep those feeders clean and full of fresh nectar solution.

I’ve  created one of what will be a series of 2 hummingbird wall calendars for 2014.  If you want to have something that keeps track of dates *and* is pretty to look at, then go check out my hummingbird calendar at this link.

If you would like to view *all* of the calendars I have created for 2014, please go to this link.

Or, simply go to my website www.rebeccalatsonphotography.com and select “Calendars”  from the menu items.

FYI – I will soon be creating a 2014 weekly planner using this year’s batch of hummingbird photos, and I’ll also be creating a couple of photo journals with photos and blank, lined pages for writing.  Keep checking back to my blog site and you will see photo icon links to these products once I have posted them for sale.  Open-mouthed smile

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Filed under Flash Photography, hummingbirds, Photography, Texas

International Amity

For the past month, now, I’ve been going over to Mom’s house (I live next door to her) every afternoon upon coming home from work.  I’ve been changing out the hummingbird feeders since I don’t want my 87-year old mother getting up high on the step stool to do this herself.  Instead, Mom makes the nectar solution.

So this afternoon, after a short visit with Mom, I was walking out the door and looked directly across toward one of the feeders, to see an unusual sight:  a bright green Anole lizard sitting on the feeder, lapping up the nectar.  Southeast Texas has a lot of these pretty little things, so I shouldn’t have been too surprised.  But this was the first time I’d ever seen anything like this.

A few seconds later, a little hummingbird perched itself at the feeder and started sipping from the same siphon.  International Amity….for a moment.

6202_International Amity Best

Shortly after the photo above, the Anole turned around and started crawling up the feeder, only to be buzzed by other hummers more than happy to send the lizard packing.  While buzzing the lizard, they would alternately buzz each other.  Sooooo territorial.

6241_Righteous Indignation

I titled this photo “Righteous Indignation” Winking smile

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Filed under hummingbirds, Humor, lizard, Photography, reptile, Texas