I stopped by my parents' house on the way home this evening to drop something off, and ended up joining them for a drink out on the back deck. And we all know what that means: bird pictures.
Starting things off, a female Goldfinch perched on the water fountain:
As you can see, this Chickadee took off from the edge of that same fountain just as I was taking the picture:
But the real stars of today's show were, without a doubt, the hummingbirds. It never ceases to be entertaining and a little amazing to watch them in action as they chase and harass each other. They'll whiz through so close that at times I'm tempted to check and make sure I don't have a new ear piercing, with a sound reminiscent of an Indy car as it streaks by where you're standing. Not to mention the mid-air dogfights, punctuated by the chittering of the birds and the occasional click when their bodies make contact. It's hard to verbalize, and even harder to photograph—I suspect I'd need to ingest a six-pack of Red Bull and about as many espressos to have even the slightest chance of intentionally taking a decent picture of them mid-battle. So I'll guess I'll just have to be content with shooting them when they're seated and hoping for the occasional stroke of luck.
At any rate, I do have something slightly different to share today: a male indulging in a little grooming—including cleaning off his beak—while safely ensconced within the blue spruce:
I know it's somewhat hard to believe that a male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird could ever truly blend into the scenery, and yet when it sits just right it is indeed virtually invisible:
Same bird, same spot, but with his head at a slightly different angle:
A male settling onto a branch:
A female getting a drink at a feeder; if you look closely, you can just barely see the tip of her tongue poking out from her beak:
Usually the males hang out on top of or within the branches of the blue spruce to rest and keep an eye on their rivals. As you've seen in previous photos, they'll sometimes sit on the chairs that sit outside on the deck. Today, though, we got to see a couple of the males perch someplace new—on top of some of Mom's Tiger Lilies:
A shot of some of Mom's echinacea flowers:
And finally, a couple of Kaylee photos to close things out: