Connecting you with nature
Did you know, the Aztec god of war “Huitzilopochtli” is often depicted as a hummingbird? It was believed that fallen warriors would return to earth as hummingbirds and butterflies.
There’s nothing like hummingbirds. In my area they’re very active right now. The nesting season is over. The young that survived are busy trying to secure their own food sources, and the adults are doing the same to build up fat and reserves for their long migration this fall. Because of their size (typically 3-5 inches in length), their constant movement (most flap their wings about 50 times a second), and speed (they can fly about 27 mph) photographing hummingbirds is a challenge. If you want to freeze the motion of their wings and body in an image, a LOT of very bright and direct natural light or artificial light (flash) is a must. Photographs have to be taken at very high speed. Most hummingbirds don’t tolerate people close to them, and ethical photographers don’t trap or bait hummingbirds for photo ops, and this includes using flash traps. If you want to capture the fine detail of a hummingbird, your best bet is a large telephoto lens that let’s you get some distance away. The photos shared in this blog were taken in a mix of clouds/sun, partial shade, and very bright early morning light anywhere from 15-40 feet away using my 560mm Canon lens configuration (400 mm lens w/1.4 extender) with no tripod. All were processed in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom for exposure adjustments and cropping.
More incredible hummingbird facts:
Enjoy my images of these truly amazing birds. Except for the third image below, we can't say for certain whether the other ruby-throated hummingbirds are adult females or juvenile males. Juvenile males (1st year males typically) look very similar to adult females. One of the best sources I've found on distinguishing and identifying ruby-throated hummingbirds is here: http://www.rubythroat.org/RTHUExternalMain.html. Ruby Throated Hummingbird - female or juvenileNorthern Maryland