All About Hummingbirds

I have discovered that I have never, in my years of posting on this blog, did a post exclusively about hummingbirds.  I don’t know why that is, but one possibility is that I have a hard time with the identification of the different birds.  Another possible reason is that in my area there is only one dominant hummer; the Black-chinned Hummingbird.  And of course, most of them are the dull, unattractive females.  So I guess I ignored them most of the time.  Oh, did I forget to mention that they are danged hard to photograph, too.

But going back through my photos, I found that I did in fact photograph a few individuals in my travels over the years.  I noticed that I did a pretty good job when I decided to give it a try.  I am not going to try to tell you that I am an expert on these things.  The following photos are for your enjoyment, and if I mis-identified any of them let me know.

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird - singing in the rain

Black-chinned Hummingbird – singing in the rain

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbirds

Sub-adult Rufous Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

And finally an Anna’s Hummingbird resting on Ann’s hand after being banded by Kelly Bryan at Far Flung Outdoor Center, during a banding event.  Seconds later it flew off.  Ann said she could feel the bird’s little heart beating through her hand.

Anna's Hummingbird resting in a comfortable place.

Anna’s Hummingbird resting in a comfortable place.

I hope you enjoyed these photos.  Perhaps, in the near future, I may decide to photograph a few more of these species.  Stay tuned…..

Click on any image to see an enlargement.





30 thoughts on “All About Hummingbirds

  1. What an amazing experience, holding a humming bird! I like the photos. I thought it was snow in the rainy photo at first. We had our first snow fall today but will get warmer or I am packing my bags.

  2. Amazing birds, those Hummingbirds. They are extremely difficult to capture for me too. They can’t seem to stay still, extremely fast, unpredictable, my Tamron has trouble focusing on them, they are hard to see, and most of them are the Black-chinned females, as you stated. But I love them. Great blog, Bob

    • I agree, they are hard to focus on, as they are in and out of the focal plane so fast and often. Hard to keep up with. Once you can lock on, you can get them, but that’s the problem.

  3. Wow, I’m glad you re-discovered these, Bob! Simply beautiful. I love the ones in flight, and the one surrounded by rainbow droplets. Holding one in your hand must have been so magical.

  4. What a wonderful series, Bob! I especially enjoyed the shot of the black-chinned in the “rain”, really precious! Also the two black-chinned photos with the flowers. Really great! These would make a perfect hummingbird calendar!

    • That’s one of my favorites, too. Actually, there was a ‘mister’ going over where he was perched. He was just gleefully cavorting in the spray. With the sun, there was a rainbow effect in the water drops.

    • Wow!! Lisa, you are good. I wouldn’t have considered a Rufous with the blueish spots on the neck. Shows you how much I know about hummingbirds. But looking at my Sibley’s book I am inclined to agree with you. (How do you explain those blue spots?)

      • Glad you agree with me, Bob. I dithered between the Broad-Tailed and the Rufous but the primary projection was wrong for the Broad-Tailed. As for the blue spots they looked purple to me, and Sibley’s illustrations show purple on the neck…hummers being iridescent little guys anyway. Thanks so much for posting the pictures, it gave me a chance to study these birds I see so infrequently!

  5. Great photos, Bob. Thanks so much for posting them. I don’t get to see most of these guys too often. But I think the next-to-the-last hummer is a sub-adult Rufous Hummer, not a Black-Chinned. Finally got one Ruby-Throated at one of my feeders last night. Sigh. 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment, Jerry. We have about ten hummingbird species that can be seen, depending what part of the state, and what time of the year. I also should mention that the western part of the state sees the most.

  6. Those tiny feet and feathers….what a delight. The colors and the pollen on the bill are excellent! What a thrill for Ann to have one in the palm of her hand. Thanks for posting these.

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