Saturday, July 14, 2007

Here Comes Trouble...

Let the hummer wars begin.

Rufous is here now guarding the flowers and feeders and chasing all others away. The broadtails are sneaking in to the feeder when they can for a quick sip and early this morning before there was enough light for photographing it, a male calliope hummingbird was here for a drink.

Rufous sits on the tip of a dead douglas fir branch to keep an eye out for intruders. He doesn't seem to know that he's the intruder here. The broadtails arrived months ago.

Rufous is like the grade school bully who thinks he has to make up for his small size by being faster and meaner than everyone else. For those of you who haven't met rufous, you can see how small he is in the image below where he sits on a feeder with a 5 inch tall bottle.

Rufous will stay for about a month and then he will move on. He's already 'summered' in the north and will continue his southward migration sometime next month. Rufous hummingbirds nest as far north as southern Alaska and winter in Mexico. They travel northward in spring through the pacific lowlands and make the return trip mid summer through the Rockies to take advantage of peak wildflower times.

The male rufous' gorget (the iridescent throat patch) reflects bright orange-red when light hits the feathers. The feathers of the gorget direct light in a single direction so that the color seems to change from dull brown-red to bright orange-red as the bird flies about.

Rufous is a little harder than the broadtails to photograph on the wing. I need bright sunlight so I can get my shutter speed quite high. My most popular rufous image can be seen here.


Anonymous said...

I particularly like the top one - he looks like he's suspended in the air.

Gary Nylander said...

The Humming bird pictures are nice, I like the fox photos too from your earlier posting, they sure are cute !

Con Daily said...

Thank you wrenaissance woman and Gary.

Wren., The hummingbird that looks like he's suspended in the air was trying to scare a bee.

Gary, the foxes were a lot of fun to watch and photograph. My neighbor says they don't come around much anymore, so I guess my season of the foxes is over. I admire your landscapes at the philosophical photographer. I'm saving for a wide angle lens!

Sandrine said...

These are some great captures! Thank's for your comment too...