In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
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.
Another preferred the buddleia (butterfly bush).
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.
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.
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.
Fast and feisty, flashing iridescent feathers as they perch for a moment before zooming away.
We 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 …
or hovering for a moment …
or feeding from flowers.
There’s a towering flax plant in Joan’s garden which the hummingbirds just couldn’t get enough of. Hovering to drink…
Curving down to drink …
Even drinking straight on!
A view from the back shows the bright green iridescent feathers.
Finally, after visiting flower after flower on the flax plant, this hummer’s beak was covered with pollen!
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?