Hope

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Hummingbird aloft

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More Hummingbird Happiness

If you saw my recent blog post, Hummingbird Happiness, you know what my favorite bird is. I’ve been sitting for hours in our garden this past week, waiting for the hummers to dive down from their tree-perches to get nectar from our flowers. One flitted around the stand of agapanthus flowers.

Hummingbird at agapanthus flower

Hummingbird at agapanthus flower

Another preferred the buddleia (butterfly bush).

Hummingbird at buddleia

Hummingbird at buddleia

Someone just asked me how to get photos of hummingbirds, since they move so quickly. It’s definitely a challenge to get clear, in-focus photos of them. A lot of it is patience, waiting for them to come to a spot where you can get a clear shot. And focusing can be near-impossible, especially when they’re hovering. One trick is to pre-focus on something stationary where you anticipate they will be, then take the shot when they enter that area.

Hummingbird at buddleia

Hummingbird at buddleia

And of course, the first step to getting great photos of hummingbirds and other birds and critters is to plant lots of flowers and other sources of nectar and food for them.

Hummingbird Happiness

What’s your favorite bird? I admit that I can’t ever get enough of hummingbirds. They’re so amazing and so unlikely. The smallest birds in the world, and the most expert hoverers.

Hummingbird hovering

Fast and feisty, flashing iridescent feathers as they perch for a moment before zooming away.

Hummingbird wingspreadWe spent a wonderful day in our friend Joan’s garden. The hummingbirds were dancing from feeder to flower, pausing in the orange tree, then back for more nectar. When photographing hummers, I’m most thrilled at capturing those magical moments when they’re zipping past …

Hummingbird in flight

or hovering for a moment …

Hummingbird flying

or feeding from flowers.

Hummingbird feeding at flower

There’s a towering flax plant in Joan’s garden which the hummingbirds just couldn’t get enough of. Hovering to drink…

Hummingbird at flax flower

Curving down to drink …

Hummingbird at flax flower

Even drinking straight on!

Hummingbird at flax flower

A view from the back shows the bright green iridescent feathers.

Hummingbird at flax flower

Finally, after visiting flower after flower on the flax plant, this hummer’s beak was covered with pollen!

Hummingbird and bee at flax flower

Did you notice the other visitor to the flax? See the honeybee gathering nectar at the bottom-right flower, with a bright orange pollen ball on its leg!

What’s your favorite bird? Do you have feeders or flowers for birds in your garden? Do hummers pass through your area while migrating, or stay year-round?