Sunday, July 29, 2012

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Photographing hummingbirds is an exercise in frustration.  It’s worse than golf!  It’s like herding cats or picking up raindrops.  If you get the light right, the bird right, the focus sharp and both wings lined-up perfectly, press the shutter quickly. If you get it right, they are magnificent! 

The Broad-billed Hummingbird is so-named for his broad bill.  Surprisingly at 0.1 ounce he's a fierce fighter! The red and black bill, although not the longest of the eighteen species of hummingbirds, is seen as a formidable weapon.  He's aggressive and bold when guarding his nectar claim and other hummers know it.

Like other hummingbirds, he is attracted to red.  The red may be a flower or the red shirt you’re wearing.  If you’re lucky, you might get inspected by one as something sweet…it’s a treat.  They are even known to inspect red car taillights as a food source.

I’ve had hummingbirds check-me-out. Their  wings humming in my ears were the first clue of their arrival. They’d hover around my head inspecting me for possible food. They are a joy to watch, but if you reach out to them they're gone in a flash.

April 4, 2012