Recently I've had a few opportunities to photograph Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that are attracted to the feeder at Trailside. My technique has been to simply stand in front of the feeders as close as my lens will focus and hope for the best. Most of the hummingbirds that come seem pretty used to people; one even hovered about a foot from my leg. Some of the hummingbirds buzz in, take a few sips from the feeder and either buzz off or get buzzed off by another hummingbird; the latter usually results in an audible 'thwack' as one hits the other than chases him into oblivion, chipping like a crazed chipmunk. These circumstances don't offer much in the way of photos. The photogenic hummers are the ones that fly in and perch close to the feeder for a while and the ones that hover a short distance from the feeder in between every sip. I had one hummer that perched on a bare twig and proceeded to, in the absence of a more appropriate term, spaz out. It flipped its wings in and out, ruffled and smoothed down its feathers, opened its bill wide and snapped it shut, all the while whipping its head back and forth. Whatever it may have been doing, it offered some cool pictures. Sometimes with 5 or more hummingbirds in view at the same time they obviously liked the feeder. Sometimes though, they were so busy chasing each other away from it they never got to drink.
The dark woods behind the perches clearly provided a great backdrop.
Header image (above):
Wilson's Snipe in Boston
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" I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn."
- Henry David Thoreau
Norfolk Co. MA - Year List: 117 species
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The birder behind the birds
I am a 20 year old birder and photographer. I'm interested in all things avian (and many things not), and I strongly believe that there is no such thing as an ugly species (Vultures in particular... they get discriminated upon way too often.. the phrase "a face only a mother could love" is getting a bit old.)
Weird things I've seen squirrels eating in my backyard:
• whole donut
• whole bagel
• snickers bar out of the wrapper
• whole potato
• Mass Audubon
• Friends of the Blue Hills
• Massachusetts Birding Listserv
• Maine Birding Listserv
• Rhode Island Birding Listserv
• Audubon Society of Rhode Island
• Massachusetts Young Birders Club