Late yesterday afternoon, until the sun went down, a pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were buzzing up a storm as they were defending their territory from other hummingbirds. Of the pair, the male was by far the most active. They were flying around like tiny jet fighters, and in between “dog fights,” the male frequently landed in a nearby tree to watch over their territory.
I could not just watch them without breaking out and setting up my Nikon D800 and 600mm lens with a 1.4 teleconverter (850mm). My presence with my camera did not slow them down, which would have helped as I attempted to photograph them. They continued to buzz back and forth.
I was not trying to photograph them as they flew by me. They were moving to fast and erratically. Instead, I focused on a few locations in the nearby trees where they would periodically land, rest and monitor their territory.
After chasing away other hummingbirds, the female disappeared deep into the trees, and the male returned to a few favorite perches on the outside edges of the trees. That is where and how I was able to get the images in this article.
In the above image, I was able to photograph the male hummingbird with his tongue extended out of his beak. It is that long tongue that enables them to get nectar deep from within long narrow flowers.
In the above image, the male hummingbird was stretching up, looking around for an intruder, while being nicely lit by the warm glow of the setting sun.
I was very pleased with the detail captured in these images by my Nikon D800. If you did not click on the images to see them in more detail, I recommend you do. These images are low resolution for my blog. Higher resolution images and other hummingbird images can be see on my website at: http://stabone.com/p700411659
What unbelievable details … the leaves veins, the birds’ feathers and neck “jewelry”, and the tongue! Gorgeous!
I was very pleased with the details in the images, but as I mentioned in a previous response, I have found the details to be distracting from the beauty of these tiny birds.
Reblogged this on Ann Novek–With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors.
It’s nice to see these birds in a more ‘ordinary bird’ pose, rather than the general hovering one we normally see.
I was excited to see the email notice that there were new hummingbird photos. I was not disappointed. What marvelous detail and color. I have enjoyed these immensely!
Thank you, George, for taking the time to comment and the very positive feedback.
Amazing captures, well done! I can never find the hummers when they rest in trees, so I’m stuck with shooting them while they are at the feeder — not an ideal photo, but it’s what I can do. I love seeing your work, especially on these hummingbirds!
Glad that you are enjoying the hummingbirds. They are fascinating. At first, I really liked the detail in my recent images, but after looking at them again, I think the tiny bird loses some of his beauty when you can see such details. In fact, when I zoom in on that male hummingbird, he looks old and worn out, which is to be expected.
Wonderful photos, Steven! Some of the best I have seen! I photographed hummingbirds yesterday. Challenging, but fun. Regarding your comment above – I love the detail in all your photos!
Thanks my friend x