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Posts Tagged ‘Hummingbirds’

Taken 8/30/14 at 2 PM with a Canon G15 Point and Shoot in movie mode:

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It is very rare to see a Rufous Hummingbird here in Arkansas. The last one I saw and also photographed was two years and one month ago. This mature adult male came in on Tuesday and I have seen him at the feeder about 2 dozen times since. I have not seen him this morning though so far. He is larger than Ruby Throat hummingbirds and much more aggressive. They are a “sight to see” but I’m sure the western US birders would love to see a Ruby Throat, too. I have about one hundred hummingbirds at four feeders and Im sure that is the attraction. I understand, but have not seen these “out of range” hummingbirds as late a December here in Arkansas.

I am rebuilding a deck that I fell through in June, and he has found a lookout from which to chase others on a new post. Taken up close with a Canon 1DS Mark III and a Canon EF300L f/4.0 IS lens @ 1/2000 of a second, coming very close (within 10 feet) to me:

 

Male Rufous Hummingbird

Male Rufous Hummingbird

 

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Mixing in within the other months, skippers and butterflies, were a few Sphinx Moths, one very large. They are quite skittish, so I used a long lens to capture this, the largest one (wingspan 5-6″). I used a Canon 400 f/4.0 DO IS with extension tube in the late afternoon with a Canon 1DS Mark III:

Some hawk moths, such as the hummingbird hawk moth or the white-lined sphinx, hover in midair while they feed on nectar from flowers, so are sometimes mistaken for hummingbirds. This hovering capability is only known to have evolved four times in nectar feeders: in hummingbirds, certain bats, hoverflies, and these sphingids (an example of convergent evolution). Sphingids have been much studied for their flying ability, especially their ability to move rapidly from side to side while hovering, called ‘swing-hovering’ or ‘side-slipping.’ This is thought to have evolved to deal with ambush predators that lie in wait in flowers.

 

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This morning, I watched as mostly baby Hummingbirds and Honeybees shared a feeder after it was filled. They seem to get along quite well and both need nectar right now. The males Hummingbirds seem to be on the decline; and I see fewer and fewer adult Females. They are now drinking 2 gallons per day. My guess, is that they are largely juveniles; born within the past month. Photos were taken this morning as 10:00 AM; all photos taken in a 20 second period:

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I am still laid up and cannot get around due to my accident, so I have to find things to photograph around the house. The honeybees found one of my hummingbird feeders yesterday. They are coming in fairly large numbers all day long. The hummingbirds have control of 4 feeders (the newer better ones) but the honeybees have taken control of the older, cheaper, leaky feeder. The are so hungry for sugar, about 12-15 landed on my arms while I was filling the feeder this morning. They a very very gentle. There will be lots more as the day goes on. I feel sorry for honeybees given their status and the hummingbirds don’t seem to mind them either. There a quite a few juvenile hummingbirds now. A fawn just bedded down in the grass behind the house:

 

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These juvenile Ruby Throats are already skilled flyers at 2 months age !! This one is prying open a bud to get to the sweet fresh nectar:

 

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