Thursday, August 03, 2006

Home Grown.

Broad-tailed humming birds.(Selasphorous platycercus)

his picture was taken with my Olympus Stylus 5.0 digital camera. I stood behind my dinning room window with the shades drawn and the camera poking through a few feet from the feeder. The shades are usually open and the humming birds scatter if they can see you coming, making it difficult to get a good shot. Even changing their background by closing the shades made the birds uneasy. It took the birds a few minutes to approach the feeder and about 10 before they would land on it.
I set my digital camera to "Macro" and turned the flash off. The shutter speed is relatively slow in this setting. It is perfect for shooting stationary objects but moving objects are a little tricky. These birds can move! The feeder traffic during the evening hours is absolute mayhem! The aerial acrobatics of the swarm whistles with intensity as the birds compete for a spot on the feeder, the smaller birds almost too blurry to see. There is dive bombing, high speed fly bys, beak poking, bumping, and my favorite blocking. This is where a couple work together, one blocks access to the feeder while the other eats. I have seen up to a three bird front. They love to visit right be for dusk. I counted about four different species feeding at the same time. So I basically had to keep shooting until I got a shot where the birds were stationary enough to keep everything in focus. I took roughly 130 shot in 30 minutes, about 5 were any good. These ladies were particularly brave and cunning, they fed often.

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