Friday, August 14, 2009

Our three little hummingbirds...

...continue to fight over the nectar from the Lucifer Crocosmia. At least it's just these three (maybe a female and two juveniles?). In our yard, all of the adult males have already moved on. Scientists believe male hummingbirds may depart for the wintering grounds first because it leaves more concentrated nectar for the females and juveniles.

Such a pretty little female. You can see the white
tips on her tail feathers indicating she's a female.

No ruby gorget and white tips on the tail feathers--must be
a female--or a juvenile. Females and juveniles look alike.

I love this photo with her crazy-eyed attitude.
"Are you quite through?" she seems to be saying.
I remember as I took this photo how a few feathers on the
top of her head were practically glowing gold. It looked
like someone had dropped gold flakes on her crown.


Beak Bit
In the spring, all Ruby-throated Hummingbirds with white tips on the tail are females, but in summer, you never know. Juvenile male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds look like females. When they return in the spring, they will have their ruby gorgets and will have lost the white-tipped rounded tail feathers, making it easy to identify them.

29 comments:

dreamfalcon said...

amazing colors! great!

Chris Petrak said...

Your series on the hummingbird is wonderful! Did you have to do much cropping or adjustment? They are so skittish, that it's tough to get close to them.

Jayne said...

Those are so beautiful Kelly, it almost makes my eyes hurt. Oh, the color in those shots. Just exquisite! :c)

Roy said...

Hi Kelly, the first one is the best yet. Lovely shot.

Montanagirl said...

Great shots of the Hummers. One of God's little (or great) marvels!

Kelly said...

Dreamfalcon.....thank you!

Chris....Not much...did crop them down to get closer, but I was standing about 3 and 4 feet from them. They were so into the nectar from the Crocosmia they didn't care about me. Every once in a while, they would stop and hover about 3 feet from my face looking at me. I doubt I'll ever have the experience again. I took all these photos in a 45-minute timeframe the evening I planted these new plants.

Jayne...thank you! I know.....I'm afraid to pick up the camera again, because I know I'll never equal these shots.

Roy...thank you!! What a sweetie she is....

Mona....thank you.....so true. They are amazing birds. I can watch them for hours....

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
Ouah I would be so happy to have humming birds in my yard... I guess this is never gonna happen ;-) You have gorgeous shots of them. I saw some in Chile and was terrified by their speed. I'm just wondering how hard it is to catch them in a beautiful picture.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love that the male hummingbirds leave early to save food for the females and the youngin's...that is a true gentleman. :) Your photos are amazing. I have always loved hummingbirds but don't see them in south florida. This week in CO though, I saw many. Such a delight.

Atanasio Fernández García said...

Hi Kelly! I have been following closely the latest entries of your blog and are truly amazing! The collection of hummingbirds is magnificent, with high-quality images, with the birds in action and getting precious background, especially the blacks and fades ones. It's spectacular how the quality of your images is growing in your macros and compositions of your beloved birds! A big hug from Spain!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Kelly, What gorgeous pictures of your Ruby's... I love them---and their colors are so beautiful.

Hope you are having a good weekend.

I'm busy with Family History.
Hugs,
Betsy

Warren Baker said...

How far are they going to migrate Kelly?

JPT said...

These are graet shots - very colourful.

Kelly said...

Chris...I'm expanding my garden in the back to plant hummingbird and butterfly-friendly plants. I want more in my backyard! They are super fun. It is usually hard to photograph them, but the nectar in this plant is so delicious they let you get very close---3-4 feet away, which made it very easy to photograph them!

Suz.....but in the spring, after they mate, the males leave the females to find another mate. The female does all the nest building and incubation, but...the males arrive first to find the best food sources for the females, so it really does work out.

Atanasio...thank you very much. These birds and the flowers made it easy. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get the same quality again!!! Oh well....I'll just have to keep trying!

Betsy...thank you! Have fun with your family tree!

Warren....they go all the way to Central America--Mexico or Nicaragua. Amazing!!

JPT....thank you so much! It's been about 10 ten days, and the plants are still going strong, but I can see the blooms are starting to drop and fade...probably about another week of blooms I guess.

holdingmoments said...

These really are stunning Kelly.
What beautiful little birds, and such a magical moment to be able to get so close.

JKoenig said...

The "Eyes" have it in that first picture. Those red flowers add just the right touch to make those little birds stand out.

E said...

The hummingbirds are so lovely, a gift from God. Your pics are awesome and so the stories. You should write magic books for children with the pics, they will learn a lot and the rest of their relatives too. Many hugs.

Elaine said...

More lovely hummer shots. You know, these have almost a mystical feel to them. They are like little fairies, flitting about in the golden light, feeding on the nectar of the magic flowers.

HBFG said...

Really nice series! Those birds keep amazing me. Your blog is so educational! Who needs National Geographic ? :))

ShySongbird said...

What a magical moment it must have been Kelly, you will never forget it, I know I wouldn't. Beautiful!

Midmarsh John said...

How great to have such a beautiful willing subject to photograph.

forestal said...

Fantastic pictures Kelly

dan

Alan said...

More great photos Kelly! Hummingbirds are so much fun to watch.

Uncommon Depth said...

Terrific images of these sweet little birds. Thanks for the tip of telling the sexes apart too. I never knew that.

Richard said...

Great series of pictures Kelly. Definitely some pictures for your "Personal Best" album.

Steve said...

Fantastic photos Kelly, the colours are so vibrant. Your very lucky to something like that so close.

Nature As Is said...

Beautiful pictures as always Kelly...I'm sitting here sipping my lovely hot morning coffee admiring your lovely shots..nice way to start my day.

Happy Sunday!!

Cindy said...

Fantastic shots. Hummingbirds are so amazing. I've lived 6 years in my current home and last week was the first time since moving here that I saw one. He/she was at the Firecracker plant outside my Mom's window. I was so excited. Unfortunately before I could even think of getting my camera it was gone.

Beautiful colors!

Laure Ferlita said...

Stunningly brilliant! Just brilliant. Your talent is amazing!

Mary said...

Love the first two shots of it peeking over the flowers. Mine are so territorial, it is hard to keep up with them.