Montana Outdoors

May 30, 2016

Hummingbirds

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:15 pm

This evening with nothing much else to do as the sun was setting, I tried for a few shots of the hummingbirds who come to my feeders. I dunno… but I tried. I have two feeders up: one has six stations and the other four. Each night just before it gets completely dark there is a feeding frenzy, with fifteen to twenty birds all trying to feed on the ten stations, I suppose to fill their little tummies ahead of the night’s cold. They consume about a liter of mix every day.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

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49 Comments »

  1. Beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Boeta: RumblingOcean, Photofun blogs — May 30, 2016 @ 9:34 pm

  2. Those are amazing photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — May 30, 2016 @ 10:29 pm

  3. I’m amazed at how you are able to shoot fast enough to stop the wing action, but it doesn’t look like you have much noise with such a low light exposure. How do you do it? These are great shots! I really like the dark background with just the bird highlighted.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Sue — May 30, 2016 @ 10:30 pm

    • I set the ISO at 400 because much higher than that with the D80 will produce noise at low light. The shutter was 1/2000. The light was the last few rays of sun almost horizontally on the birds and spot metering adjusted to the light on the bird, leaving the background (which was in shadow) dark. The lens was the NIKON 70-300mm VR set at 300mm and hand held. I thought it would be worth a try and I thought the results weren’t too bad.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by montucky — May 30, 2016 @ 10:46 pm

      • Outstanding guess on those settings. They worked out very well.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Sue — May 31, 2016 @ 8:14 am

        • Isn’t digital wonderful? It doesn’t cost anything to take a try at what you think might work and often it does.

          Like

          Comment by montucky — May 31, 2016 @ 8:20 am

  4. They are so lovely birds!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Traveling Rockhopper — May 31, 2016 @ 2:45 am

    • They are fascinating to watch and beautiful from all angles. It’s a true natural pleasure to have them around!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 31, 2016 @ 7:59 am

  5. Little jewels. Amazing photos. I have a friend who studies hummingbirds in the Andes, where there are the greatest number of species in the world. Their high metabolism definitely requires constant refueling!

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by jpostol — May 31, 2016 @ 5:26 am

    • In past years we had just a few come to visit. This year there has been a cloud of them at dawn and at dusk. I had no idea there were so many around here.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 31, 2016 @ 8:00 am

  6. Those Hummingbirds are such beautiful creatures and your images look superb to me. I always admire a photographer who can capture such rapid wing movement. You’ve done well, Terry. I note in your reply to Sue that you used a 70-300mm lens.

    (that focal length came to my mind yesterday when I dropped my Sony in for repair quote. I.e. If the Sony costs too much to repair, or can’t be repaired, a new or 2nd hand 70-300mm range sounds like a better bet for my Canon DSLR than my old 18-200mm DSLR lens).

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — May 31, 2016 @ 5:39 am

    • Thanks Vicki. I tried what I thought might work, and for the most part it did. The two shots of the bird hovering were especially challenging. I noticed that that she would sake a sip of food then back up about 5 inches and hover for a split second , and then go back for another sip. Her timing was the same every time so when she was at the feeder I pressed the shutter half way down to get the auto-focus to do its thing, then moved the center of the frame about 5 inches back and pressed the shutter the rest of the way while the bird was still at the station. By the time the shutter opened she was in the hover position and I caught her.

      The NIKON 70-300mm is a wonderful lens and I’m glad I have it. Were I able to afford it though I would like to have a 400mm, but this one has been wonderful for wildlife. It is a good companion to the 18-125mm that I also use mostly for landscapes.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 31, 2016 @ 8:16 am

      • Good to know the hummingbirds have such a regular feeding routine and you can anticipate that moment when they’re at feeder and still enough to press the shutter button all the way. I daresay many wildlife photographers are successful due to regular observation of bird (and animal) habits. I’ve hear of some photographers waiting weeks for that exact moment.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Vicki — May 31, 2016 @ 5:51 pm

        • I’m not much of a wildlife photographer and I admire the patience and skill of those who do well at it. I think the recipe good for nature photography is about 40% patience, 20% luck and 40% the hard work over the years to figure out what the engineers who designed your camera were thinking when they did it.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — May 31, 2016 @ 6:21 pm

  7. Those photos look pretty great to me. I don’t even attempt to catch shots of the hummingbirds that visit. We don’t have feeders for them, but they do visit the flowers on the front porch.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — May 31, 2016 @ 9:25 am

    • They get used to you if you have a feeder out and then you can get pretty close to the. Often when I’m taking a feeder down for a refill a bird or two will still be on it until I take it into the house.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 31, 2016 @ 3:49 pm

  8. Wow, you have more action than I do! I never have that many hummers. Maybe 8 at the most. Are these Anna’s? I guess they must be. Nice shots.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Candace — May 31, 2016 @ 11:57 am

    • I think Montana is out of the usual range for Anna’s. We have mostly Caliopies and a few Black-chinned and Rufous. this year we have at least 5 times more than in the past.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — May 31, 2016 @ 3:54 pm

  9. They are hungry little fellows aren’t they if they drink that much a day.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Ron Mangels — May 31, 2016 @ 12:04 pm

    • They use a lot of food at dawn and dusk when there is a cloud of the, but just a few at a time during the day. I make sure the feeders are full in the evening so they can tank up to stay warm during the night.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 31, 2016 @ 3:55 pm

  10. I don’t know much about hummingbirds but those are great shots of them!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 31, 2016 @ 2:58 pm

  11. Thanks! I know little about them myself, but I’m getting to know them by observation. Fascinating!

    Like

    Comment by montucky — May 31, 2016 @ 3:56 pm

  12. I just put up my feeders a few days ago … within minutes they were there, as though they had been waiting … they’re such fun to watch ….so beautiful. I love your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — May 31, 2016 @ 7:18 pm

    • I have had a feeder up for several summer, but this year they are astoundingly busy, perhaps because in previous years I used a prepared food and this year use the 4:1 sugar mix. A friend who lives a few miles away has 6 feeders out and the birds use about a gallon of mix every day. I’ve hears that a female hummer lives for about seven years and will bring their offspring back with her from year to year. I’m pretty sure that some of the ones that I now have are part of new families this year. They nest in some huge lilac bushes in several places in my yard.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — May 31, 2016 @ 7:27 pm

  13. Nice photos of them in flight!

    I spent a number of hours over the last week trying to capture a photo of a hummingbird sitting in its nest, which I happened to spot in a tree branch hanging over a creek while hiking. The day I unintentionally found the nest the bird was sitting in it. Funniest sight of a bird in its nest; bent in half to squeeze into the tiny cup of a nest with its head and tail sticking straight up. Unfortunately that day I didn’t have my camera. And everyday I’ve returned with a camera the bird refuses to land. It’s entertaining to be out witted by a bird with a brain the size of a lentil.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Jack Elliott — May 31, 2016 @ 11:43 pm

    • I love that story Jack: I can completely relate to that! They are fascinating little birds and I have the utmost respect for them. The ones that come to my feeder have gotten used to me and get quite close, but their nests are completely private places and another story entirely. I can’t quite get my mind around the fact that those I see here in western Montana spend their winters in Mexico and return here every year for the summer. They appear so fragile and yet they are much tougher than I can imagine and can do things that I can’t even imagine doing myself.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 1, 2016 @ 7:36 am

  14. What little gems! I didn’t know you had hummingbirds there. Superbly photographed!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jo Woolf — June 1, 2016 @ 9:50 am

    • Thanks Jo. Lots of folks here who don’t put out feeders don’t know there are hummers around or think there are very few of them. Montana has 7 species but usually see only 3 here.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — June 1, 2016 @ 1:41 pm

  15. Absolutely gorgeous captures! This is a great treat for my sore eyes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Dina — June 3, 2016 @ 1:02 am

    • Thank you Dina! They are such pretty little things and their capabilities keep me in awe. They also use a lot of food!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 3, 2016 @ 9:13 am

  16. lovely captures
    and so many humming birds
    yea
    i had to take my feeder down because a bear took mine down
    best to not encourage the neighborhood bears
    i still have one zip by once in a while

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Tammie — June 3, 2016 @ 8:58 pm

    • I love those little birds! Had to buy another 25 lbs of sugar the other day. Haven’t had a bear around yet this year, and so far they haven’t bothered the hummingbird feeder i past years. A few days ago something took down the feeding tray where I leave sunflower seeds for the other birds, but I’m sure it was probably just a raccoon: at the time I wished we had a little snow on the ground so I could see who visited.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 3, 2016 @ 9:21 pm

  17. Amazing set of photos! Thanks for sharing. Bye. K

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Kamila Pala — June 4, 2016 @ 8:47 am

  18. Hi Montucky, Such a wonderful bunch of photographs! Amazing! Have a super good week.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wildlifewatcher — June 5, 2016 @ 6:26 pm

  19. Stunning photo. I have never seen one live.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sartenada — June 7, 2016 @ 2:34 am

    • It’s surprising to me that you have not seen one. I thought they were everywhere.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 7, 2016 @ 8:21 am

  20. Fantastic captures for such a fast little bird! 🙂

    Like

    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — June 21, 2016 @ 10:42 am

  21. They’re lovely shots. You’re so lucky to have hummingbirds (we have none in the UK) .

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Val — June 23, 2016 @ 6:42 pm

  22. I have never seen any of these birds over here. Wonderful pictures ! What a nice place you provided for them.. and for you to observe them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by isathreadsoflife — June 26, 2016 @ 11:32 pm

    • They are so tiny (about half an ounce) but they consume so much food. I have two feeders up and the birds consume about a liter and a half a day. They are also very bold: when I hang up a feeder after filling it there will be two or more sitting on it feeding before I am through hanging it.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 27, 2016 @ 8:30 am


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