Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hummingbirds Part II

Darn these flying wizards! They are really trying my patience. Not only are the birds themselves difficult, but I've had to contend with big clouds appearing right when I get my shutter speed adjusted for bright sun. Yesterday the clouds went in and out continuously, putting my manual skills to the test for sure. The whole process wears me out!

If the sun is not hitting the gorget (neck area) just right, it looks black. But it really is a bright, flaming red. 
One of these days I'll be able to show that. Even if it kills me.

Please forgive the store bought nectar. I read recently that the red dye is not good for them. 
I have pledged to make my own sugar water this week. And clean the mold off the feeder. 

Yeah, yeah, stop your yammering and get rid of the mold already! 


Here are a few from my Dana Point, CA trip last year:




Interesting hummingbird facts:
  • Hummingbirds can flash their bright colors, as well as hide them when needed.
  • The brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom.
  • They have tiny hairs on the tip of their tongues to help lap up nectar. 
  • A hummingbird heart beats up to 1260 times per minute and about 250 times per minute at rest.
  • The wings of a hummingbird will beat about 70 times per second.
  • A hummingbird will visit an average of 1,000 flowers per day for nectar.
  • They have very weak feet so they prefer to fly.
  • Hummingbirds weigh between 2 and 20 grams (a penny weight 2.5 grams).
  • Their metabolism is roughly 100 times that of an elephant.
  • The average life span is 5 years and some can live more than 10 years.
  • They can fly forward and backward, hover, fly sideways and even upside down.
  • A hummingbird's wings can rotate in a full circle.
  • It takes 20 hours for a ruby-throated hummingbird to fly across the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Hummingbirds are very smart and remember every flower they have been to and how long it will take a flower to refill.

More interesting facts can be found at World of Hummingbirds.

35 comments:

Justine said...

these are fantastic! you have captured them so well, I think if I tried it would be a complete blur. I saw my first hummingbird when we were in California in May, it was so lovely and delicate but there was no way I could capture it

Barb said...

Hummingbirds are incredibly hard to capture and you've done an outstanding job of it! Thanks for the hummingbird facts - fascinating!

Modesto Viegas said...

I love the last one!!!

TexWisGirl said...

you made me laugh at the 'testing your patience' venting. :) love these little zoomers. i just added 2 more feeders (4 total) as we've had a bunch of activity this week.

Phil said...

Gail, your pictures are great so keep trying with the exposures for the ultimate pic - we all are. But the facts about hummers are just amazing, thanks for finding those for everyone and how wonderful to get hummers in your garden and on your feeders.

Gary said...

Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Brian King said...

You must have all the hummingbirds because I'm lucky to see one every couple of weeks. I know what you mean about the clouds/sun and shutter speed, but you got some great photos! And at least you have some to photograph.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I just love your hummingbird shots - more, more!!

Butterbean Row said...

Are those last 3 shots from CA, hummingbirds also? I guess i have never seen them still before.
Wonderful shots!

♥charlotte

mick said...

Beautiful little birds and great photos.

Deanna said...

Love your hummingbird images, all just beautiful. The last one looks like fairy dust coming off her wings. And thanks for sharing all that wonderful info about these pretty little birds.

Kerry said...

Hummingbirds are really miraculous creatures. I like this list of facts! My husband has a colleague who studies hummingbirds, which I think would be a super cool thing to do with your life.

Danielle said...

Thanks for the chuckles....the photos for my post today were the best of the best of four hours and over 300 photos that I just about wore myself out over...and they are so far from being crisp and clear....but I was not going to suffer the agony of defeat!!! I can't tell you how many shots were lost due to the sky changes and that dang shutter speed ;).....but boy am I learning ;)...your shots are gorgeous!!!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Every shot is amazing and each more perfect than the last -- I am just totally impressed with your photography talent. And I love the hummers, so this is a perfect post.

Evelyn S. said...

Really something, aren't they? I've always made my own sugar water, but sometimes I "cook" a batch and let it sit for two days. I have to climb on a ladder to fill my feeders, and each time it requires washing them out with the hose, too. The hummers are few and far between now.

eileeninmd said...

Great hummer post! I love your photos.

beth said...

they truly are magical creatures....simply magical.

and your photos....amazing !!
xo

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

AMAZING pictures!! And that the Hummingbirds allow you to be so close! You have such an eye and patience!

Deb Crecelius said...

Hairs on the tip of the tongue.
Who would have thought?
I LOVE your photos; just amazing.
That last one...stunning!

Kathy said...

Girl, what are you complainin' about? These pics are fabulous!

Your sugar water that you put out for the hummers doesn't need red food coloring or dye added to it as long as your feeder is red. That's what attracts them. If your feeder is a different color, then maybe you need the food coloring but most feeders have red on them anyway.

Mary said...

I love those little colorful lovelies..good photos..super photos. Mary

bailey-road.com said...

I'm just in awe every time I see one of these delightful little birds. They are quick and hard to capture in the right light to show their colors, but they're so much fun to watch.

Linda said...

What amazing and beautiful creatures these little birds are. Your photos of them are stunning. Thanks so much for sharing them and for the interesting facts included at the end of your post.

rainfield61 said...

Then I wonder how heavy is our brain..

Lisa Gordon said...

I just love these little ones, and you have captured them so beautifully here, especially the last shot.
Gorgeous!
Wishing you a wonderful day.
xo.

Arti said...

These are gorgeous captures!!! And making your own sugar water, that would be fantastic as well!!
It was fascinating to read those facts about hummingbird's as well!
Wish you a wonderful week ahead Gail :)

Amy Burzese said...

You're doing a great job with them. These are all great. I just don't have the patience for birds.

Linda R said...

They are such a fascinating bird to me. I could sit and watch them all day. Your photos look wonderful..

Hugs~

Starla said...

I think you have captured the beauty of these wonders fabulously! And I enjoyed the facts!!

Happy Homemaker UK said...

Really, really spectacular. You have definitely made it an art form :)

NatureFootstep said...

I thought it was fun trying to catch them when I visited CostaRica. You have some real beauties here. :)

NF Birds and CR Birds
http://nfbird.blogspot.se/2012/08/drillsnappa-actitis-hypoleucos-common.html

http://nfcrbird.blogspot.se/2012/08/louisiana-waterthrush-seiurus-motacilla.html

Nancy Claeys said...

Marvelous shots of these little guys. :)

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Very lovely images and also interesting facts~

Hilary said...

Wonderful images, Gail. I know what you mean about needing the sun to hit that red throat. And yes, variably sunny days sure are a challenge.

Tricia Hays said...

I didn't know that the red dye wasn't good for them, I'd better tell mom cuz that's what she uses for her feeders, too... they should invent something that's good for the hummers but bad for the ants, cuz they swarm the feeders & it's just so YUCKY!

Sorry I haven't visited in a few posts, but I've been slackin' real bad lately! LoL! =)