Saturday, August 16, 2008


I've been having a lot of fun taking pictures of hummingbirds. I keep an eye out for when they seem to be active. In these shots I'm sitting outside about 10 feet from the feeder, holding very still with camera up and ready. When they're actively feeding they have been showing up about every 15 minutes. Sometimes I get lucky and they are only a few minutes apart.

All these pictures are of females. I have yet to photograph a male, they seem to be more wary. I've only seen two males so far and was inside and didn't have the camera ready. Males have the ruby throat.

The feeder is in the shade most of the day, so it is hard to see the iridescence of the feathers. I'm going to try for some morning photos to see if I can get them in the sunshine.

I like how the tail is spread out in this picture.

Landing on the perch!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm... sweet nectar. Ok, sugar water...

Sitting pretty. Isn't she the sweetest little thing? These flying jewels fill me with great joy.
(Click on any picture to enlarge it.)

Some interesting facts about hummingbirds:

Their hearts beat up to 1,260 beats per minute.

A Hummingbird's flight speed can average 25-30 mph, and can dive up to 60 mph.

In their non stop quest for fuel, Hummingbirds may visit 1,000 flower per day. For protein, hummingbirds eat spiders and strain gnats from mid-air. They will pull insects out of spiderwebs including the spider itself.

The hummingbird's tiny brain, 4.2% of its body weight, is proportionately the largest in the bird kingdom.

A hummingbird can rotate each of its wings in a circle, allowing them to be the only bird which can fly forwards, backwards, up, down, sideways or sit in sheer space. To hover, hummingbirds move their wings forward and backward in a repeated figure eight, much like the arms of a swimmer treading water. Hummingbirds can move instantaneously in any direction, start from its perch at full speed, and doesn't necessarily slow up to land. Hummingbirds can even fly short distances upside down, a trick rollover they employ when being attacked by another bird.

Hummingbirds can live a decade or more in the wild.

Many species that migrate to the U.S. travel impressive distances. Many ruby-throats make a 2,000 mile journey between Canada and Panama. The trip includes a non-stop, 500 mile flight over the Gulf of Mexico.

A male Ruby-throat weighs as much as two and a half paper clips.

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