We have hummingbirds, which are the neatest little buzzbombs around, even if they are sometimes assholes when it comes time to try to photograph them. There have been numerous attempts to wait them out or sneak up on them, which have resulted in a lot of blurry photos at the feeder.
At least it’s enough to ID what species we have. As expected, there are Roufous hummingbirds (above). They have a fan-shaped tail with orange, black, and white horizontal bands on the tail.
(If anyone actually knows more about hummingbirds and can spot me getting something totally wrong, please let me know.)
There are also several of these guys. I think they’re black-chinned hummingbirds, but the Cornell Lab Merlin app identifies it as an Anna’s Hummingbird. More data is needed, obviously. Their tail is more a compact wedge, iridescent green feathers on their backs, lighter white and green on their stomachs.
I also got a lot of pictures of hummingbirds perched waaaaaaaaaaay on the other side of the yard, or twenty-five feet directly above my head.
So, yesterday I was out with the camera trying to get pictures of a new bird that I hadn’t heard before, which had a very distinctive song. As usual, I was using my big telephoto lens and taking pictures of the very nervous, skittish bird on the other side of the yard. Suddenly I heard the unmistakable buzz of a hummingbird VERY nearby. I realized I was standing about five feet from the feeder, and the green (Anna’s? Black-Chinned?) hummingbird was feeding.
The first amazing thing was that I was juuuuuust far enough away so the big lens would focus. Any closer and it would have been out of luck again. The second amazing thing was that the little hummer sat there for two or three minutes, feeding, not flying away, even with me right there. I was moving very slowly as I focused and shot picture after picture, but the little hummer just stayed there long, long after I expected it to take off for the trees.
And the pictures are…amazing. I wish there had been just a bit more light under the awning, but they prefer it to be in the shade, so…
As it took off finally, there was a tiny bit of that long, thin tongue still hanging out.
I’m going to go with this being my birthday gift from the avian community in the back yard!
Now to see if I can get some better pictures of the roufous!