Thursday, July 29, 2010

Photographing a Needle in a Haystack

Well, that's what it seems like trying to get a photograph of a hummingbird in a zinnia patch! The hummingbirds are so skittish, but may be getting more used to me. I've seen two at a time now, so there are at least that many! I hope we have more!

You may want to click on each of these to see the bigger images. You'll be able to see the soft wisps of feathers on the upper leg/side and the little feet.

In each image the iridescent feathers have reflected the light a little differently.

The green colors look like peridot and emerald gemstones.

Although it looks like they are always hovering, they do perch on the blooms sometimes.

As a gardener, it is so rewarding to see birds enjoying my efforts. There are always birds in the garden, perched on tomato stakes or under the shady leaves. They find the puddles on the plastic mulch and bathe and drink. They wrestle bugs from the air and from plant stems in a flurry of wings and beak thrusts. In particular, the goldfinches and cardinals like to balance on the stakes. The goldfinches check to see it's safe and then swoop down to a puddle. The cardinals eye the plants up and down looking for a juicy, wormy snack. The morning doves waddle around cooing 'wooo' at things and picking at specks. The robins flap down looking for the biggest puddles for an extra splashy bath. They hang out in the shade under the zukes and startle me sometimes. There are multitudes of sparrows in little groups. They alternate between puddle baths and dust baths. They make little cups in the dust where they scratch and beat their wings to raise up dust clouds. These are all very common birds and I haven't mentioned other common ones like the jays, cat birds, silly acting crows and families of hawks soaring overhead and crying 'skreeee'.

I guess the hummingbirds are extra special for me as they are not so plentiful, but also, they are just so different from typical birds, the way they eat, fly and change color in the sunlight! I so love hummingbirds! They have hovered in the air right in front of me and looked directly at me, first with one eye, then shifting sideways in a flash to scrutinize me with the other eye! Their little bodies stay focused while the beating wings blur around them. Maybe they will get more used to me and I'll be able to get closer and get some more pictures, or just have them near when I'm tending the garden.


2paw said...

Oh they are such beautiful birds and you are so clever to capture them!!

knitseashore said...

I've never seen them so close up like this. Thank you for sharing them with us!

Kristen said...

Hummingbirds are fascinating, as you say so different from other birds. I love to see and hear bird activity on my rides and wish I were better at identifying them by sight and sound.

Devorah said...

Wow! Amazing photography. Thanks for sharing these little guys with us.