Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hummingbird Photos

Several days ago I noticed that a hummingbird was spending an usual amount of time in our back yard in the vicinity of our worm bin. I typically keep the lid open during the day to air it out. Since hummingbirds in our neighborhood usually spend most of their time out front by the bird of paradise plant, I was puzzled. At one time, I thought that I remembered reading that hummers will occasionally eat insects but couldn't be sure if I'd recalled that fact correctly. So I consulted with my papa and he promptly looked it up in Sibley: hummingbirds "feed primarily on nectar from flowers but also take many tiny insects, either picking them from vegetation or capturing them in flight." Mystery solved! He's catching the fruit flies that feast when the worm bid lid is open.

He's been spending time in the tree above the worm bin so I had an opportunity to snap some pictures. Unfortunately, our camera doesn't have a very powerful zoom lens. In Costa Rica, we used to put our cameras right up to a birding scope and take the picture using the enhanced magnification. It took a lot of patience, tinkering and some seriously burning muscles (binos get heavy quickly!) but here are some of the photos that I took.

Pictures (with the regular camera zoom used. No binocular used)

Picture (with binocular ring around the outside) Pictures with binos (aka binoculars), cropped to edit the black bino ring. The quality isn't great since I did some serious cropping but it's a heck of a lot better than without the zoom.

I've been amazed at how much time he spends grooming. We named him Piccadilly (Dilly) since he seems very neat and proper (read: British).