Monday, May 25, 2009
Great Birding Morning
At one point however, we got lucky. We had stopped to check out another bird and spotted this broad-tailed hummingbird up on a twig. He sat and watched us watch him for quite a while. Occasionally he would take off, buzz around and then come right back to the same twig. I was able to get a few photos of him, these two being the best of the bunch. It is hard to imagine that these two photos are of the same bird. It is a good illustration of the control that they have over their brilliant iridescent feathers.
Then as we were heading back, something vibrantly reddish-orange flashed at us from across an open grassy area like a beacon. Another hummer! This one was a rufous hummingbird and he was catching the sunlight directly on his gorget and we just happened to be at the perfect angle to see it. It was almost blinding for something so small. If he hadn't been flashing - probably trying to impress a female hummingbird hidden somewhere in the brush - we would have never spotted him. With a display like that, he's got to be lucky with the ladies.
A few years ago a hummingbird chose to nest right in front of my cousins' cabin and they got to watch the progression of the next generation from their window. I was able to get some photos of the nestlings a week before they fledged. This pen & ink illustration was the result.
We haven't seen any more hummers at our feeder at home since the one Paul spotted last week, but that's not to say they aren't visiting. We live in a basement apartment and I didn't want to hang the feeder at the level of our windows or it might tempt the neighborhood cats. Instead, I have it hanging high up on top of a trellis. Unfortunately it is out of sight from our windows but more importantly it is out of reach of all but the most athletic kitties.