Friday, September 09, 2011

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

In recent years hummingbirds have been seen in Newfoundland and Labrador, though I haven't seen any here in Holyrood. While in Nova Scotia I had an opportunity to photograph both male and female ruby-throated hummingbirds. Though they weren't the first hummingbirds I've seen, they were the first I photographed.

In order to capture images of this bird, I sat near a hummingbird feeder and waited for an hour and a half in the hot sun. I couldn't move because I didn't know when a bird would show up and from which direction it would come. From years of experience photographing birds I have found that most species usually get used to my presence and eventually come to a feeder or go back to what they were doing and ignore me. However, every time the male hummingbird flew in, it would hover for a second, look directly at me, then fly away.

I was determined to wait long enough to make at least one image when I saw one of the tiny birds feeding off a flower about 20 feet away. In anticipation that it might fly to the feeder, I raised my camera and focussed just as the bird flew in the scene. I was shooting with my Canon EOS with a 70-300 mm and was able to shoot a few quick photos. You can see that the bird's body is in focus but it's wings, because they are moving so fast, are blurred. Today's photos were cropped from the original images which I've uploaded to my Blog this morning.

The bird didn't return and the sun was very hot, so after 90 minutes of sitting still, I went back inside the house. I looked at the images and was happy with them after they were cropped. I was thankful, because I didn't get another chance to photograph the male. Tomorrow I'll share a few images of a female hummingbird, which I was able to photograph several times.

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