Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hummingbird hub

Mom and Dad's place has apparently become a kind of Grand Central Station for Ruby-throated hummingbirds of late; Dad counted at least seven different birds while I was there for dinner on Monday night. Most of the time, they were either chasing each other or sitting and watching a feeder, waiting for another bird to try and feed so they could chase it away. The birds get so caught up in their battles, you'd swear at times they're about to collide with the feeder, or the tree, or us humans sitting on the porch. But, luckily for me, they did also on occasion sit and eat, allowing me the chance to get a few photos as they refueled for the next skirmish.

 A couple of shots of a female at the feeder:

A slightly raggedy-looking young male. I was intrigued that from one angle, his throat feathers looked almost black:

When he turned his head to watch his companion on the feeder take off, though, it was a totally different story:

One last closeup on the male:

The female on the feeder in this shot is keeping a very watchful eye on another female hovering on the periphery in the upper left corner of the frame:

A couple of shots of a female defending "her" feeder, her tail flared out to make herself look larger and more threatening:

Finally, one of my luckiest catches ever. I'd zoomed in to take a shot of a male on the feeder, and just as I clicked the shutter button a female swooped in to kick him out of his spot. As I said, a very lucky break for me: