little jewels

I can’t quit watching these sparkling little gems. We have two species hanging around at the moment. Anna’s hummingbirds are year round residents. In early spring we get an influx of Rufous hummingbirds who tend to be feisty and it’s fun to watch them chase each other (and others) around. We were sitting out in the garden when one of them buzzed my head. They seem utterly fearless, but can maneuver at tremendous speeds. I had a hard time sorting through the hundreds of shots I’ve taken. It’s really difficult to catch them clearly, or to get the iridescent colors that shimmer and change according to the angle of the light hitting them.
To really appreciate these little beauties, it’s best to click on any image for the slideshow.

You may notice that most of these are the copper colored (when the light is right) Rufous Females. These aggressive little birds chase away the Anna’s for the most part, so it’s been a challenge catching a shot of them. I did manage that one female Anna’s, but the male Anna’s are extremely skittish and so far I haven’t managed any decent shots of them. The are marvelous when the sun lights up their glossy dark rose-red throats and crowns. I’ll keep trying.

I never wish to be easily defined. I’d rather float over other people’s minds as something strictly fluid and non-perceivable; more like a transparent, paradoxically iridescent creature rather than an actual person. 
Franz Kafka

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28 thoughts on “little jewels

  1. Pingback: sticking around for the winter | Movin' on

  2. Earlier this past winter I had two hummingbird feeders out with 7 hummers visiting so often that I was refilling the feeders every other day. Then a Rufous arrived and sat in the tree near the feeders chasing all the other hummers away. Beautiful little guy he was, but very aggressive. 😦

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    • Back at the old house in Myrtle Point, we had four feeders, one on each side of the house. This time of year when we’d have the Rufous influx, I would fill four quart bottles daily until the little rednecked Rufous moved on. Positioning feeders so the Rufous couldn’t defend all of them seemed to work and leave some for our year-round Anna’s population.

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    • You got that right. Can’t begin to count the number of tail feathers or empty frames I’ve had because my finger on the button was too slow. 😦

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  3. Before our move to Oregon and after we had sold our house, we had the gracious offer to stay with friends. They are bird watchers and their backyard had a number of feeders. The hummingbird feeder was located right outside the screen porch window and the NOISE those beating wings make is pretty loud!

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  4. Fabulous shots, Gunta! They are such beautiful little birds. Only one type of hummingbird visits us here (the Ruby-throated). I got buzzed the other day.
    I don’t know if this will help or not, but when I was photographing the hummingbirds last year, I found that turning on the flash helped to capture more of the color of the birds. Unfortunately, it also blows out everything else from time to time.

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    • My set up is the camera on a tripod with a cable release, sitting next to the computer. The distance to the hummers pretty much precludes using a flash. The images are heavily cropped. As you can see, I manage to catch the Rufous quite easily, but I may have to wait for them to move on to get the Anna’s. Then there are certain parts of the day when the sun hits them just right to get the shimmery colors. I just need to experiment some more and keep trying.

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    • Thanks to our mild climate, we are lucky enough to enjoy them year round. They are little treasures. The Rufous migrants are a lot bossier and more aggressive, but their antics give me many laughs.

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  5. These are just so beautiful! I know how fast their wings go. You’ve done a brilliant job to capture such images! Love the way the light reflects off them. The coppery colour is lovely.

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    • Thanks, Sylvia. They are certainly a challenge to catch in the right light to show off their brilliant colors. Perhaps I’ll have a better chance at the Anna’s once the Rufous bunch moves on. I don’t know if they’re happy, but they make me happy to watch them. 🙂

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