Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Backyard Hummer Encounters
My newest photography obsession is trying to capture the hummingbirds coming to the feeder while it is being handheld. I have 6 hummers in total, which should make for frequent visits, but there are other feeders next door, so when I attempt this trick, it seems the only good time is at dusk when they are filling up for the night before bedtime and hit all the feeders in the area.
My partner-in-crime Becky is attempting to lure in the hummer above. This is the only shot I have, but the feeding attempts have been successful all weekend. The experience is something like this: First thing you hear and feel is the "hum". It's like a tornado in your ear and at first you are startled, because you don't see them coming. Usually, they inspect you first, so staying still is absolutely required, which is a tall order with all the excitement, let me tell you! So, you are standing there, being as still as possible, and they hover so close, that you feel the wind on your face, and you are not all that sure of exactly where they are until you focus on this lil thing within a few inches of your head. After inspection, it will decide if it is dangerous to take a drink. If you are still enough, it will land cautiously. The vibration is now on your fingers as you are holding the feeder, and the hummers wings are still in motion. If you are lucky enough, you are face to face with it and realize just how small this creature is with it's big eyes looking back at you... It is truly amazing!
Most hummers that actually come in for a drink are juvies who are inexperienced and take the risk.