Montana Outdoors

August 14, 2009

Getting ready to head south

Filed under: Birds, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — montucky @ 9:52 pm

Our little resident hummingbirds that have been so lackadaisical about visiting the feeder all summer (probably because of the lavish crop of wildflowers they’ve had to feed on this year) have suddenly turned into tiny flying pigs, slurping up nearly 2 cups of nectar a day at our feeder. They are trying to fatten up prior to migration and they are capable of gaining 25% to 40% of their body weight before they head south. Of course I had to attempt a photo…

Broad-tailed hummingbird

I think this is a Broad-tailed hummingbird. (Has anyone else ever tried to catch one with a macro lens? This was shot at a range of about two feet.)


  1. That’s amazing!


    Comment by kateri — August 15, 2009 @ 12:29 am

    • They sure are. They pack so much color and attitude into just a little over a tenth of an ounce!


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

  2. Wow! Awesome capture. I’ve only seen two or three hummingbirds all summer and none of them in a place where I could even attempt to capture with a click! I’ve really missed them but sure enjoy your image!


    Comment by Stacey — August 15, 2009 @ 12:42 am

    • They have been around here off and on all summer, but not swarming to the feeder like they are now. They’re also very bold now, nearly touching me as they fly by.


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2009 @ 6:38 pm

  3. PS: Thanks for the comment about the flowers making my Dad feel better. Brings tears to my eyes….but not of sadness.

    Hope you have a great weekend.


    Comment by Stacey — August 15, 2009 @ 12:52 am

  4. He’s handsome, his neck looks bejeweled. We seem to only have Anna’s and Ruby-throated ones around here. I haven’t seen this kind. That’s a great photo, I can never get them up close.


    Comment by Candace — August 15, 2009 @ 5:48 am

    • We don’t have the Ruby-throated here, but we have had a Calypso the last couple of years. These nest in a very large and old lilac tree not far from the feeder.


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

  5. Many birds who make such a migration actually shrink their organs so that they can hold more fat in their bodies. Fascinating journeys.


    Comment by scienceguy288 — August 15, 2009 @ 7:31 am

    • Birds have some incredible survival strategies. Every time I read something new about them I’m amazed.


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2009 @ 6:41 pm

  6. Great capture! Amazing. No, I wouldn’t even try with a macro and I haven’t tried it. You caught this hummer in a still second pose! Fantastic! 🙂


    Comment by Anna Surface — August 15, 2009 @ 8:14 am

    • I had a struggle trying to get a decent shot because of the low light conditions. This one was at 1/200 f3.3. That was as fast as I could go with the light. The little guy really did help by posing!


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

  7. Now that brought a big smile to my face this morning! WOW! Excellent.


    Comment by Maureen — August 15, 2009 @ 8:58 am

    • They have been causing lots of smiles around here lately too, Maureen! When we refilled the feeder, there were three birds trying to feed while I was hanging it up. I stood very still and watched them slurp at a distance of about 6 inches. I finally had to leave because my eyes were crossed.


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

  8. Wow! What a great close-up!! Gorgeous!


    Comment by 3bdigitalart — August 15, 2009 @ 10:56 am

    • Thanks 3bdigitalart! She is really delicately decorated, isn’t she!


      Comment by montucky — August 15, 2009 @ 6:47 pm

  9. Wonderful macro shot! He doesn’t even look fearful. Beautiful bird. Magnificent detail. Love the bright eye. Great catch!


    Comment by Iona — August 16, 2009 @ 3:33 am

    • The hummers have gotten bolder in their feeding frenzy, and by now most of them have gotten used to me. Sometimes they let me get pretty close, which I really enjoy.


      Comment by montucky — August 16, 2009 @ 7:02 am

  10. This is so perfect! I have yet to manage a really great photo of these “always in motion” birds. Our hummingbirds hover as they slurp so they never pause.


    Comment by Bo Mackison — August 16, 2009 @ 9:20 am

    • I enjoyed trying anyway, Bo. The main problem I had with these was with low light. Maybe I’ll get another chance before they leave.


      Comment by montucky — August 16, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

  11. Great shot Terry, I think if used a long lens with a ext tube that would really bring them in, or a tele conveter might work on a long lens as well, you know I really don’t know for sure because I have never tried 😉


    Comment by bernie kasper — August 16, 2009 @ 10:38 am

    • I’m sure a good telephoto would work well, but I don’t have one.


      Comment by montucky — August 16, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

  12. Much more than an attempt. It is a beautiful image. The detail on the hummer is fabulous. The background is wonderful. You did well – very well!

    And no, I haven’t tried with a macro lens. I use a 300mm with a 2x teleconverter to give me 600mm!


    Comment by edvatza — August 17, 2009 @ 3:20 am

  13. wow. another beautiful and amazing shot! you have really gotten good at this!


    Comment by silken — August 23, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

    • Thanks silken. Our resident hummers have had a lot of patience with me.


      Comment by montucky — August 23, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

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