Yesterday, Robert counted 21 hummingbirds at our feeders! I suspect that the parents are bringing their fledglings to show them how to negotiate the “artificial flowers” before their exceedingly long (especially for such a tiny bird with a super fast metabolism) migration. When he told me how many hummers he saw, I thought “wow, I need to set up my camera and take photos before they all go south for the winter.”
I have taken some decent photos of the hummers that visit the patio feeders. Over time I’ve learned to offer them hummingbird-sized branches upon which to settle between trips to the feeders – which, in turn results in more natural looking images of them sitting still. But, I would be over-the-moon if I could capture a hummer in nature actively feeding on “real” flowers.
I have observed hummingbirds feeding on the wild flowers that grow around our retired farm. But, the idea of capturing a photo seemed impossible with how quickly they move, the fact that they come and go in an instant and how little they are. I use a pretty long lens when I am out and about, which makes it even more of a challenge to focus on a tiny moving object that I’m not expecting.
But, yesterday I got my chance! I had stopped near a stand of wild Milkweed where I hoped to get some photos of butterflies. I wasn’t as close as I hoped because the remnants of an old fence prohibited my access, but with good sun I hoped I would be successful. Then, I spotted something that wasn’t a butterfly.
These are the photos that I captured of this lovely, female Ruby-throated hummingbird feasting on the nectar of the native milkweed. The pictures may not be as absolutely clear as I could get of the birds on my patio, but I’m thrilled to have captured this subject in its most natural location. I’m posting all the good shots because, well, why not? One should not edit Nature’s magnificence.
When she flew off, I felt so grateful that I had the chance to film a hummer in nature. I’m very happy to share them with you!