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    • Chris MacAskill

      I've always thought hummingbirds were amazing. After reading the bird feeder thread I suggested to Toni that we buy a hummingbird feeder. She said we didn't need one; they feed on the flowers in the front yard.

      What? I took a look and sure enough 4 of them were darting around. You could hear their wings as they buzzed by. I walk out the front door every day and hardly noticed them. 😳

      Inspired by @Glenn_Smith's bird photos and @Denise's flower shots, I got out my camera. They're so fast. In the blink of an eye they show up and then gone.

    • And this is where I show how naive I really am. They seem to stack up whatever it is they're getting from the flower on top of their beaks and then fly back to their nest to harvest more flowers. How is that possible?

    • That is very interesting! I've never seen that, probably have been too far away to see piles of nectar on their beaks!

    • For as fast and fragile as they seem, I was hiking in the desert in 100+ degree heat and stumbled across this HB. Definitely not as sexy as yours but I was impressed how this fella was gobbling up some nectar in such a harsh location. FWIW, here is my write-up that shows more of the seemingly barren-no-nectar environs that this hummingbird lives around.

    • My spouse has had a couple feeders for hummingbirds for years, and she also has her garden/landscaping plantings, favorable for hummers too. I find them very challenging to photograph, as they can fly instantly in any direction and we rarely have more than one or two birds at a time.

      How long was your lens, Chris? 200 mm or less, maybe? For me, longer just is frustrating with hummers, so I set up a perch in the rain one afternoon and captured a few frames at high ISO

      The red coloration on their throat is not due to pigment, but due to the feathers acting as a diffraction grating such that the red flash comes and goes depending in the direction of the incident light, relative to the feathers at their throat - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hummingbird.

      Same bird just a few seconds apart

    • Beautiful shots.

      I was using the 70-200 on my Nikon D850, which doesn't focus as well as my Canon 1Dx that I drowned. So my beautiful Canon 200-400 lens sits idle with no camera body. 😢I wondered if it would be too long for how fast these birds move.

    • I shot the above images with a 500 f4 on a Wimberley head, but usually in flight they are too agile for me, and I just can't pivot the large lenses fast enough to keep them in the frame. I think the 200-400 might work, but I suspect the Tamron 150-600 will work better because it is so much smaller, shorter and lighter than my EOS 200-400.

      The few hunmmers we get here at home are pretty nervous, and don't tolerate one getting closer than 20-25 feet or so, before they skedaddle. I can sometimes capture them through a window, but I just never find images shot through glass windows pass muster to my eye.

      I enjoyed the video of the lady shooting them up close through a window pane. Maybe my window panes are inferior quality glass. 😕

      On a side note, I just submitted for a price quote to sell an EOS 1DX body with the Canon GPS attachment to mpb.com. I rate the body in excellent condition... any interest? I may not get a price today due to the ceremony for President Bush.

    • I have bad memories of drowning cameras as well. Shot the finish line for the infamous Irondog race as the two man team on two snowmachines (that is what they are called in Alaska) came screaming down the frozen Chena River in Fairbanks. The victor, Andy George was a super nice guy that I knew and he was racing against the Todd Palin team. So, I convinced Andy, his wife and three kids to travel about a mile down river to do a victory family photo in front of an old fashioned paddle boat. All good. The sun was coming out and I had his wife and kid on my snowmachine and Andy had two kids on his. There were racers still finishing so I moved over towards the right side of the river driving about 20mph (slow). All of a sudden, I hear the worst thing you can hear ~~~~~~~~~cracking ice. I punch the throttle to no avail. We broke through the ice and were swimming in ice water. I had my Nikon D1 and Nikon F100 around my neck and they were sunken in water for quite a while (multiple minutes). I did not know about rice back then and tried to just dry them out in my overheating van.....I still shot with them for about a year afterwards but they were toast.

      Chris....did you lose yours during a Mavericks surfing safari?

      (not my vid, but, for people not familiar with the Irondog race)

    • You would think I would have drowned my camera doing something epic like breaking through the ice on a snow machine after shooting IronDog, or in the monster waves of Mavericks, but no. I rented an underwater housing for a vacation in Hawaii and while I wasn't looking, little Daniel took the O-ring from the housing to wear as a necklace.

      As I was swimming out to film sea turtles, the camera got heavy and started to sink. Uh oh. I rushed to rinse it out with shower water and put it in rice. Then sent it to Canon to repair.

      It turns out that you can save them if you thoroughly rinse with distilled water immediately then something something, don't remember, and overnight to Canon. But I didn't and Canon said it couldn't be saved.

    • There was a hummingbird that chose a wall outside our apartment to go into torpor a couple years ago. Unfortunately it didn't survive, and was likely already dead by the time I got this picture. Normally hummingbirds have to eat about every 15 minutes to survive.

    • I have no way of capturing a hummingbird but my eye, but we get quite a few here: they love a few of our plants, including the butterfly bush. It's not native in Oregon, and some consider it invasive, but I haven't been able to bring myself to root out the ones the previous homeowner planted, because the hummingbirds like them!

      We have mostly Anna's. My favorite thing -- I'm a fiction writer, we're vicious and thrive on conflict -- is the weird noises the males make when they're whizzing at each other in territorial conflict. Tiny angry chirp-buzzes of doom! I've heard this called 'jousting', I can only assume because of the shape of their pointy wee bills!

    You've been invited!