Tuesday, June 17, 2014

All Mine

The weeks are flying by it seems, and this time of year is always hectic for us.  We have birthdays, mother's day, father's day, our anniversary, and other celebrations that are all clumped together from late April until mid June.  Although it has been a bit crazy around here, I feel like we've accomplished so much already this spring, and I hope the rest of the warmer months will be equally as productive.

Although we've spent lots of hours cleaning and getting our yard back in shape...or maybe I should say in better shape, we have taken time to just enjoy this time of year by hanging out on our back patio in the evenings.

Last weekend the weather was picture perfect, low humidity, breezy, and almost cool'ish as the sun was setting each night, so we would go out after dinner and watch for our little hummingbirds to visit the feeder we have placed not far from where we sit.  Of course I take my camera with me sometimes in hopes of catching these little creatures that move so quickly.

Sometimes, trying to get a good shot of them is a lesson in sheer frustration, but for whatever reason, I try and try again.  And although they don't seem to mind if we are outside, they don't really like us to be too close, and they seem to sense when I have the camera, and become well, camera shy!

I was so excited when the female pictured in the 2 photos above, sat still just long enough for me to capture a nice shot of her complete with a pollen covered beak.

Rarely do they land on the feeders when we are out, but instead they flit back and forth from hole to hole watching their backs the whole time.

This year we seem to have a bossy female, and her equally bossy female nemesis, and the two of them fight non stop over our feeder.  In years past we've had at least 2 feeders, and our neighbor usually has several as well, but this year we bought a new feeder, and threw out our old ones that were brittle and in poor shape due to the unrelenting sun we get here.

And our neighbor hasn't put her feeders out yet, so we seem to be the only game in town, so maybe that's why they seem so territorial at the moment.

As soon as one female comes in to drink, the other female is lying in wait with a not so secret sneak attack in mind.

Each female takes quick rapid sips from the feeder, all the while knowing that the other one will soon be there to shove her off for her own dining pleasure.

They often spar for a bit, and then the other one will fly off to our maple or cherry tree, chattering the whole way, as if she is cussing out the other one in secret hummingbird language.

This goes on for quite some time, and they never seem to come to any kind of understanding that there are multiple holes in the feeder, and the more the merrier concept seems completely lost on these two alpha females.

I've only seen a male at the feeder a handful of times, and my guess is that he's just happy to stay out of the fray of these bossy little ladies.

It reminds me of that scene in Finding Nemo where the seagulls are all saying "mine, mine, mine" as they fight over who will win the prize of something yummy to eat.

And of course they don't even seem interested in the various flowers I have planted to help give them an artisanal selection of nectars to choose from.  Thankfully the bees, moths, and butterflies don't mind sharing, and are happy with the flowers I selected for their cafe style dining experience.

I guess hummingbirds can be a lot like people...worried that if they share, they might miss out on something really good.  Perhaps they've never read the saying below!

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle
~James Keller~ 


  1. such fantastic photos of your hummers! I have been trying for years to get a photo ... still no luck (I even have the same feeder as you) :-) we have had 2 hummer sightings in our garden ~ they like the geranium basket, but no camera close enough to try and get a photo.

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  3. One afternoon two weeks ago, while my American Pillar rose was in full bloom draping out of our cedar tree, I saw a hummingbird flitting from flower to flower. It would have made a beautiful setting for photos ... no camera handy and no inclination to do so anyway. I just stood and watched and smiled.

    I can barely imagine how many photos you must have taken in order to get so many that are so perfect. You captured the spirit of the battle so well! My favorite is the one with the hummer hovering over the feeder ... so well focused that we can even see her tiny claws.

  4. Amazing photos, Kat! Truly fantastic; you have such a talent. I have never seem such detail as I do in your photography of bird life. Last evening I was rowing on the river here (I have recently taken up sculling) and I past very close to a great blue heron who never moved; my first thought was "that's a shot for, Kat."

  5. Yes, Kat, I doubt very much that they live by that quote at all. For such a beautiful tiny bird they have terrible manners towards each other. I get the biggest kick out of watching them quarrel away the time.
    These are the most amazing captures Kat. So beautiful, and so wonderful to see. O loved reading this post Kat! I felt like I was there watching them myself.
    I hope all is well with you my dear and having a wonderful summer.
    sending hugs...

  6. Oh. My. Gawd. How in the world did you stop the motion on those fast flyers??????
    Plz tell me what your settings were..and was that late evening light??

  7. Oh these are wonderful photos, Kat! I would just love watching them...

  8. Spectacular photos, Kat! My new favorites :) Glad my computer is back, and I didn't miss out on these shots. My computer was burning up from too much dust, lint, etc.....the dogs like to lay next to the CPU. Guess I need to dust more frequently. Happy first day of summer. xo

  9. Wow, these are some stunning photos. I especially like the action ones. Great eye!

  10. Incredible pictures of the hummingbirds.

  11. You are an amazing photographer! Gorgeous, always…
    Happy Sunday

  12. Fabulous photos! These little hummers love to buzz around the large red blooms of my Lord Baltimore Hibiscus. They are too fast for me to snap a pic!




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