For a while it seemed that all hope was lost for hummingbirds this season, as all but a couple disappeared within two weeks of showing up (that’s what Prince George weather does to you!). But I kept filling my feeders for the couple that were around and enjoyed the brief glimpses that I had. Then quite suddenly it was a flurry if activity, at one point counting 15 individuals, and I’ve been filling up 5 feeders at least once every second day, if not more often.
They don’t stick around long so I am enjoying it while it lasts, although I do call them my little piggy birds.
While I would much prefer to get shots in a natural environment, we have so few flowers that the feeders are the only attractant, and they disappear deep into the forest when not feeding.
As promised last week, I have some hummingbird photos to share this week. I’ve been spending as much time as I have been able outside, enjoying the antics of the rufous hummingbirds. I probably should have tried taking some video, but I don’t want to delay this post and go out and attempt it. Perhaps over the coming week I’ll give that a try.
The rufous hummingbirds arrive in Prince George early to mid-May; with the males arriving first followed shortly after by the females. Their arrival coincided with the weather going from unseasonably warm to ridiculously cold and frosty, so there wasn’t much for them to feed on, making them extra reliant on the feeders that I put out. I started with one feeder and as more birds arrived hung up extras. Currently I have four feeders around the yard, and am putting out between 1 to 1.5 litres of nectar per day for the group living in my vicinity.
I have photos of four at a feeder at a time, but have seen more than eight gathered around one, with others hanging out at the other options. Usually that is early in the morning or late in the evening, when it is challenging to get images. If I had to guess, I would say there are probably 15 to 18 individuals that are frequenting the feeders, but they move so quickly and erratically, it is really tough to say. There are definitely lots of juveniles, so their breeding has been successful this year. With the long days we have, they are busy feeding from around 4am until after 10pm every day.
My yard is surrounded by thick forest, and the hummingbirds retreat deep into the bush between feedings, making it had to get decent images of them on natural perches. Images of birds on feeders aren’t ideal, but that’s where they are gathering, so I have to work with what is available. I am going to keep trying to get some images of them on the forest, but I don’t have long to do so, as they usually begin their southern journey mid July.
If you want to learn more about the rufous hummingbird, check out the link below. They are noted as being feisty – that’s a complete understatement!
After a few fairly quiet weeks at the feeders, the backyard is coming alive again with new visitors. The warm weather has brought in the rufous hummingbirds, and I’ve also seen a yellow rumped warbler around the yard. There are at least one pair of pine siskins feedings on sunflower seeds as well.
Out on my walks, I’ve been seeing bunnies every day (including a pair that looked as if they were planning a bunny rendezvous in the near future) but I wasn’t able to capture any decent photos of them this week.
I’ve been MIA from the blog for a few weeks now, and I am glad to finally have an opportunity to get back to posting. I made a move about two and a half weeks ago up to Prince George, and have been spending my time trying to get settled into my new life routine (and spending two full weeks without any internet!).
So far so good up here. I haven’t seen a moose yet, but did see a young grizzly bear on moving day (my camera was sadly not to hand) but what has been outstanding are the hummingbirds. We put up feeders in the front and back yard quickly, and drew quite a crowd. Now there are three feeders and at least one needs to be refilled every day, sometimes more than once a day. At one point we counted nine hovering around the front porch. I didn’t manage to get that in a photo (yet) but I did capture proof of five at one time.
Here are a few of the hummingbird photos I have captured so far. It’s also been my first chance t try out my new lens, the Tamron 150mm-600mm. The reach is amazing, but for this, I really didn’t need it; sometimes I can’t even hang the feeder back up before the hummers start eating again. They are very comfortable with me being close by. I am happy, happy, happy with my bird watching 🙂
I was so happy to see my first hummingbirds of the year this past weekend, and was able to spend some time relaxing on my parent’s porch, camera at the ready to capture a few shots. I’m quite pleased with the results, so there just might be a hummingbird of the day around here for the next little while 🙂
1/200 sec, f5.6, ISO 100 with speed light
1/200 left significant motion blur of the wings, and with the light, the fastest I tried was 1/640, and that didn’t even come close to freezing the wing motion.