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Tuesday, September 17, 2013


by Mauverneen
A twisted wire hanger makes a great perch
It’s mid September. The hummingbirds are gearing up for their migration to points south.  I'll miss the little buggers!  They have kept me occupied many a summer day; making their sugar water, filling their feeders, watching them chase each other away from the feeders, and of course, trying to capture that perfect shot with my camera. They’re fast and not easy to catch. When I set up my tripod in front of the feeders the game is on.  If I focus over ‘here’, they are over ‘there’, and as soon as I move over ‘there’, they prefer it ‘here’!  I swear they know what’s going on.

Defending dinner
The first time I heard the sound of their wings beating close to my head, I didn’t realize what it was.  I thought it was a pesky fly or a bee, and I ducked.  But now that I recognize the sound I smile when I hear it, knowing that somewhere above my head, or right behind me, a hummingbird is checking me out, wondering if I’m a giant, oversized flower!  I can even hear their little chirps as they zoom past my head.  Sometimes, when I’m very still, one will come and hover in my face, as if it wants to know exactly what I am. And more importantly that I don’t have my camera!

Hummingbird in flight
Mostly, they are busy little creatures, hurrying from feeder to feeder, checking out anything colorful along the way but they perch on small branches in between their feedings, usually somewhere they can keep an eye on that feeder!  Their tiny little bodies blend in so well with the leaves that you really have to know they are there before you can spot them. And even at rest their heads constantly swivel, looking this way and that.

Resting in the garden - maybe they won't see me
 Not far from where I live there is a small park with a nice flower garden that attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and other winged creatures.  Occasionally I will go there to check out the avian action and I am rarely the only one hanging around with a camera.  It’s a great spot for photographers  – I have met both amateurs with camera phones and professionals with lights and tripods, hoping for the perfect shot. I have the feeders in the yard, but I don’t have all the flowers and there is something wonderful about seeing the little things flutter frantically from flower to flower, even though they are much harder to follow!
Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Here in Illinois we get Ruby Throated Hummers.  How I would love to see some of the other varieties of hummingbirds!  I hear Costa Rica has several beautiful varieties. Sounds like I might have to start planning a winter vacation, don’t you think?
So many choices

If you want to make your own hummingbird food - it's easy! And they seem to prefer it over the packaged stuff.  4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Heat just to boiling (to dissolve the sugar) then let cool. Store in a jar in the fridge. You can add a drop of red food coloring - they love red!
Waiting at my window - Can you come out and play?

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  1. Hummers frequent our yard, announcing their presence with their "high pitched" sounds - never fails to make me smile. Window boxes outside our kitchen windows are planted with red salvia, a hummer favorite. Yesterday morning movement caught my eye, a hummer darting from flower to flower while sipping nectar - what a treat to see! I could definitely relate to your words of photographing hummers, indeed they are fast and camera sensitive. Thank you Maureen for a "Positively" delightful post!

  2. we don't have hummingbirds here - so it was lovely to see your pic - and what a great image it was. Obviously patience pays off in the end. Have a wonderful week and thank you for coming by my blog this week.