Because I need to finish writing my second book, I will stop posting for an indeterminate time as of today.
Here are some recent photos of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that have been coming to our backyard for the past several years.
Several female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds come to our feeder each year. I call one of them the Owner because she is very territorial and, whenever she sees another female hummingbird, she dives down from her perch somewhere among the oak branches and chases the intruder away.
Yesterday (yes, they were still around despite what I wrote in a previous post) the hummingbirds kept coming to the feeder throughout the day, probably to fuel up before migrating South. The Owner came to the feeder and stayed there a rather long time.
She went around and sampled each feeding hole.
Then she stayed at the feeder and had a little snooze.
This went on for several minutes. Finally a rival Ruby-throated Hummingbird began to fly around the feeder.
After I stopped taking pictures, she was still at her post for several more minutes before finally flying away.
I have one hummingbird feeder in the backyard. A male Ruby-throated Hummingbird has been almost the sole visitor for several weeks. When he appears, the female hummingbirds keep away. He makes sure of that, first looking right.
Then checking out the photographer.
Then looking left.
When feeding he flies up and down, constantly watching. I would think he could be wasting a lot of energy that way, but he doesn’t mind.
Last week I took the feeder apart for cleaning and refill. The male bird showed up as I was doing that, and promptly flew away, angry perhaps. He has not been back since.
Two female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have now replaced the male. However, one of them will inevitably chase away the other when she sees her. She dives toward the intruder so quickly that I haven’t been able to take a picture of that yet.
The female bird is very dainty, almost like a fashion model.
In flight, she looks just as nice as the male, even without those rubies on her throat.
Update: one more photo of the bird which flew away too fast, leaving only a blurry image looking like a painting.
Summer would not be the same without Hummingbirds. The only kind that comes to our backyard feeder is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Once the feeder is up, they magically show up, males and females separately. Here are some pictures of a male that monoplized the feeder for a while today.
The rascal had no respect for any human, including the photographer.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird is a name that is more appropriate for the male bird who does indeed have a throat seemingly adorned with rubies under the proper lighting. He lives in our area and comes to the feeder, but never at the same time as the two females. In fact male and female hummingbirds do not share the same nest like many other birds do.
Today, in the afternoon, lighting was good and perfect for photographing him.
A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird came to the nectar feeder today. I had set up my camera and was going to photograph her with her bill plunged into the feeder. Suddenly she flew up and backward, a maneuver that Hummingbirds can easily do. I followed her and took a shot, then she flew back down again. Only when I looked at the images on the computer did I see that the camera had caught her in the act.
A second later, she was back at the feeder.
This week, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, a bird I had never seen before, made its appearance in our backyard. It was late in the evening, sunlight was fading, and this beautiful bird landed on the bird feeder then sauntered about, asking to be photographed.
Earlier, our familiar Ruby-throated Hummingbird was back, persistently visiting the nectar feeder.
For the next 5 weeks, I will be on a road trip across the USA, going from New Jersey to visit national parks and other scenic spots in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. It’s a busy schedule with lots of driving, and I don’t expect to be able to post here, or to view your posts or respond to your comments. I will do that when I come back.
In the meantime, here are some photos taken in August that have not yet appeared on these pages.
The male Ruby-throated Hummingbird has the red throat while his female counterpart has a mostly white throat. Yesterday he was not around, at least I did not see him, and a young female, very slender and graceful, came to the feeder. She allowed me to come within 10 ft (3 m) of her to take these pictures.
This year I have been late putting out our hummingbird feeder. I was reminded last week by a hummingbird that flew around the regular feeder and buzzed me as I was standing near it. Got the message, helicopter bird!
For the past few days, he has been monopolizing the feeder, chasing away a female that could not even land on it. How would he find a mate with that kind of behavior?
Early this morning, I took the following shots of this handsome fellow, very regal in demeanor as you can see.