Summer means Hummer..

I have been trying for weeks to get a hummingbird feeder set up. A few weeks ago, I had one up, but no one visited but the wasps and downy woodpeckers. I asked a neighbor that seems to be overflowing in them, and he mentioned they camp in his magnolia tree for shelter.

A couple of days ago, though, I noticed my other neighbor’s flowers blooming. The vincas and lilacs are the perfect colors to bring the hummers over here. We got a little break in our vicious heat wave one afternoon, and here they came. First I noticed a male sitting on an electrical wire. Next, a few hours later, I noticed another buzzing a honeysuckle bush. I immediately filled up the feeder (one part sugar to four parts water, mixed well) and hung it on my deck. Presto! Within 2 minutes, I saw one drinking. I was so happy….vindicated.

Over the next couple of days, I finally got some shots in. First on the feeder. Then, in flight. They aren’t the greatest, but I haven’t ever had the opportunity to shoot hummingbirds before. With my 250mm lens, I have to be REALLY close. I sit in the kitchen window and shoot through the glass for now. The feeder hangs about 5 feet outside the window. I am about 7 feet away, at most. And, even with being that close, they are impossible to get a full frame image of. So, these are cropped pretty heavily in the computer.

On top of that, I have to use a very high iso speed of 1600 just to be able to shoot on a fast shutter speed and have ample depth of field. If that bird so much as flinches in flight, the shot is a dud. So, although I know I can do better with better equipment, these are pretty nice shots….for me.

I’ll still work on some action shots because these little guys are uber territorial. They fight and scrap constantly. Over time, I hope to add some nice images with action in them. Until then, I plan to work on improving my lighting and basic image quality until I have something worthy of putting on my wall. (With these heavy crops and the iso set at 1600, the IQ (image quality) doesn’t print well, but we’ll get there.)

Keep chuggin’!


2 Responses to Summer means Hummer..

  1. Heather says:

    Hey Chip!
    My parents have 10-15 of them. They have feeders that attach (suction) on their windows. The hummingbirds are not timid to eat from there. You might consider trying one of those to get the pics you want. I think that bought them at Wild Birds Unlimited.
    Good luck!

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