Return of the Gingers

July 18, 2016  •  6 Comments

With almost the same consistency as the returning broad-tailed hummingbirds around United States income tax filing time every April, the rufous hummingbirds generally arrive in mid-July, and proceed to make things really interesting at the feeders.  This year, these gingers arrived early and in larger numbers than normal.  Selasphorus rufus, both male and female, are extremely aggressive and territorial, trying to guard all flowers and feeders, and chasing off all "offenders".  The aerial dog fight is as much organized chaos as politics this year, leaving observers doing some deep head scratching to determine the cast of characters, their roles, and intentions.

First the males.  They sport iridescent orange on their throats and have primarily orange bodies with green backs. They are the studs of the hummingbird world in every sense of the word.  I definitely worked upper body isometrics into my routine, holding my Nikon D800 camera with 70-200 mm lens, moving from position to position, attempting to focus and capture the motion of these speed demons.

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The females are equally beautiful, in a different way, showing less orange and more green, along with white tips on their tail feathers.  Their different positions in flight and landing approaches are amazing.


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For years, I was unaware of the fact that hummingbirds exist only in the New World. Early explorers thought hummers were insects of some sort.  We are lucky to have them as seasonal reminders of nature's wonders.

until next Monday,


a passion for the image@


Sara Woodburn(non-registered)
Love these shots!
Catherine Sobredo(non-registered)
Beautiful images, Daryl.
Superb shots of these little devils! yeah, that must have been really hard to follow, focus and not move all at the same time. Years of martial arts must help with the required contortion and balance.
Our 2 refuses are relatively docile this year. Really. They are being team players. for the most part. And we've got another few bats back this weekend. You must camp out on out front porch and get shots of them. I will do that with you now that I know what to do with the incredible ISO range I have with my Sony FS5.
I just cannot believe that you got these pictures. This is our morning and evening entertainment.
Thank you so much for capturing it.
Steve Immel(non-registered)
It was worth the effort, Daryl. These are stellar. I love the way their heads are still and tack sharp while their wings are total blur. To me it's like an aerial ballet.
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