From the blind…

The hummingbirds have been quite active lately in the wildflower garden, so I set up the blind this morning to see if I could capture some of the action.

a blind for wildlife photography

I don’t normally keep so much of the window space open — just enough to poke my telephoto through the open space toward the garden.  The blind is about 10-20 feet from the plants the hummers prefer.

There seem to be four hummingbirds buzzing around the cardinal flowers and the nectar feeder — one very shy but aggressive male, and three female-looking birds that could be a female and her two juvenile offspring.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on cardinal flower

Lots of bees in this photo as well as the hummer probing the red cardinal flower

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Every now and then, one would perch on the tomato cages in the vegetable garden, about 10 feet away.

My goal was to get some photos of the very shy (or wary) male Ruby-throated Hummingbird who dashes in to drink from the nectar feeder, but rarely goes to the flowers.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird male

He seems bigger than the others and has a darker throat, so he is easy to spot, but very difficult to photograph.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird male

He even hides behind the nectar feeder, giving an obstructed view of his ruby throat.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird male

At last, one quick shot of him next to (instead of in back of) the Cardinal Flowers.  Those wings beat 53 times a second while they hover, so cranking up the shutter speed is required.

The hummingbirds are probably feeding voraciously now, stockpiling calories to store as fat for their long migratory journey south to wintering areas in Mexico and Central America.  Apparently a particular hummingbird follows the same route each year, but they don’t migrate in a flock, nor do young hummers necessarily follow their parents.  They just know the way south.

11 thoughts on “From the blind…

  1. I’m only seeing the occasional hummingbird in my yard despite planting all their favorite flowers, and in red no less, plus two humzingers filled with yummy nectar. Maybe during migration they will appear.

    • The HBs were late coming to my yard this year, and there are just these few, despite lots and lots of flowers and two feeders for them. It may be that the presence of one aggressive RTHB male has restricted the visitors — not sure about that.

  2. Thanks for including the shot of your blind–it helps give me an idea of your set up. It looks to be quire a challenge to stop the action of the hummingbirds, but at least you are doing so in the relative comfort of your own yard. You manage to get some wonderful shots of the birds in action, including the elusive male.

    • Yes it is, and now I am more impressed with what I was able to do last year when I stopped the action much better than I was able to do on this day. Hmm… what did I forget to do?

  3. I like your blind. I tried to camouflage myself with a blanket once but I did not fool our birds. How long does it take for them to accept the blind? I want to work out if it would be worth sitting that long in the garden with a blanket round me and my camera. Amelia

    • I think I see more of what is going on when I just sit (as opposed to walking around looking for something to look at). The blind is fairly roomy inside, so I can take a book or do some writing when I’m in there, as long as I don’t get too engrossed and forget to watch what is going on outside. The main problem with the blind is that it is a hot place to sit, and unless there is a good breeze blowing, it gets mighty warm in there.

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