today's humming bird shoot.

dannylightning

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AKUK

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I love the Ruby-Throat hummingbirds. I'm yet to see a male though. Hopefully next year when I'm in Canada. Were these shot in your back yard?
 
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dannylightning

dannylightning

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I love the Ruby-Throat hummingbirds. I'm yet to see a male though. Hopefully next year when I'm in Canada. Were these shot in your back yard?

Ole Danny-Boy is back! Nice set bud.

Thanks...

These were shot in the front yard, the feeders right next to the door in the garage that goes outside. I propped the cameras up on the tripod inside the garage so they cant see me that easily and waited for them to show up. only saw one today in about 30 or 40 min I am guessing it was. not sure why i dont photograph them more often. allot of the time i can be standing a few feet away from the feeder and if i am still they will still come around but it makes them a bit nervous. they wont land on the feeder, they just get a drink hover and look around, get a drink hover and look a around and keep a eye on me. but if i am hiding they usually hangout longer lol

we have males that come but the hummers are about to leave this area for the year, haven't seen anything but females for a few days now.. kind of strange you only see the females. I hope you get to see one.
 

AKUK

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I only got to see the Ruby Throats at a local park in Winnipeg, when I was there last year. They headed south in about late August and I didn't get many days to shoot them. I did managed to get some half decent shots of them on some Mexican Sunflowers and a Butterfly Bush. Fascinating little birds though and incredibly plucky.

On one occasion, I witnessed them harass a Coopers Hawk simply because it was in their "territory". One hummingbird started buzzing it whilst up in a tree. The hawk got annoyed and flew over to the other side of the park to be left in peace. As it crossed over the water fountain area in the middle of the gardens, two hummingbirds rose into the air simultaneously about 4 meters apart, in an almost military manoeuvre. They tailed the hawk and continued to harass it, while perched at the top of a tree. One also half circumnavigated me from about 60cm away. Looking directly at me to see if I was a threat or could be intimidated, I guess lol. I was told that the males tend to fly separately to the females and usually a couple of weeks earlier. How true that is, I don't know but, this could explain why I only ever saw females in the park, sometimes close to 10 of them.

When I move to Winnipeg later this year, I plan to plant the back yard up with Mexican Sunflowers, Bee Balm or maybe even Budlea. Be nice to be able to shoot them in the garden, rather than humping all my gear to the park.
 
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dannylightning

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I only got to see the Ruby Throats at a local park in Winnipeg, when I was there last year. They headed south in about late August and I didn't get many days to shoot them. I did managed to get some half decent shots of them on some Mexican Sunflowers and a Butterfly Bush. Fascinating little birds though and incredibly plucky.

On one occasion, I witnessed them harass a Coopers Hawk simply because it was in their "territory". One hummingbird started buzzing it whilst up in a tree. The hawk got annoyed and flew over to the other side of the park to be left in peace. As it crossed over the water fountain area in the middle of the gardens, two hummingbirds rose into the air simultaneously about 4 meters apart, in an almost military manoeuvre. They tailed the hawk and continued to harass it, while perched at the top of a tree. One also half circumnavigated me from about 60cm away. Looking directly at me to see if I was a threat or could be intimidated, I guess lol. I was told that the males tend to fly separately to the females and usually a couple of weeks earlier. How true that is, I don't know but, this could explain why I only ever saw females in the park, sometimes close to 10 of them.

When I move to Winnipeg later this year, I plan to plant the back yard up with Mexican Sunflowers, Bee Balm or maybe even Budlea. Be nice to be able to shoot them in the garden, rather than humping all my gear to the park.

great story about the hawks, my understanding is humming birds like to be close to hawks, the hawks don't eat thm since they are so small and the hawks scare off allot of the animals that will eat them. but they are territorial, we had a male hummer that would set in the tree in my yard, wait for another humming bird to come to the feeder and than he would chase it away there was often 2 or 3 of them out there fighting for it, I am not sure why they cant share

i do see them chase away bees that are on the feeder which i can understand but i have never saw one chase away anything bu a insect or another humming bird. there not to worried about people, the ones we had last year were not really scared of us at all. the ones this year seem more cautious.

when I lived in Tennessee there were loads of humming birds and it was always a huge battle at the feeder. ill post a link to a vidoe i took, as the video goes on more and more of them start to show up and fight, its pretty interesting to see all of them.

 

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Great video and wonderful to observe them in such numbers. They are awesome little things and yes, highly territorial. That was one of the biggest challenges I faced while shooting at the park. A hummingbird would land on a particular flower I'd want to shoot them against, and another one would come darting in from nowhere and a fight or chase would ensue. Often they would fly straight up into the air, chest bumping each other.

I'm not sure if any other species fly as far north as the Ruby-Throats, but I would love to photograph more of them. I'd be happy with capturing a male.
 
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dannylightning

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they can be quite hard to photograph, there quick and don't always seem to stay in one spot very long.

here is a photo of a male that i really like but it was also in bad lightning with a 1/4000 shutter speed with my 200mm lens, it was cropped pretty heavily but still looks good if you can look past the grain.. i know i have some more photos of them some place but i have so many photos i dont want to dig thew all of them lol.

DSC_6329 by Daniel Caldwell, on Flickr
 

AKUK

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Yup they certainly can be hard to photograph, as they flit about so much and tend to only spend a few seconds on a flower before moving on. At the time I was shooting with a Nikon 300mm f/4 AF (1993) which is screw driven. Not a particularly fast lens but certainly acceptable in terms of focus speed and maximum aperture. When I added the Kenko 1.4x TC to the back of it, the focus speed became significantly slower. I opted to pre-focus on certain flowers that had clean backdrops behind them. I did the whole tracking them wherever they flew bit for a couple of days, but the images were always lessened by the backdrops. Patience I found rewarded me with far better images. Now I have the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary and the addition of the fast focus motor and optical stabilization will be an absolute game changer for me. My essential tremor causes my hands to shake uncontrollably, which means I have to use way higher shutter speeds than other people.

A bright day is definitely a bonus when shooting them. If you can get the shutter speed up without having to push the ISO too hard, it absolutely helps combat noise. The only downside is you end up getting baked in the sunlight too. I'd be at the park 6-8 hours some days. Needless to say, I had a pretty decent tan when I returned to Blighty :biggrin-new:.
 

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My dream is to see these one day before I head off this planet. Gorgeous tiny birds they are with fantastic details and colours. I'm hoping Costa Rica one day and then head up your way somewhere to get to see these. Nicely done.

Danny.
 

AKUK

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Definitely a lot more variety of hummingbirds nearer the equator, that's for sure. Some are truly spectacular in colour.
 

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