Andrew, a truly remarkable photographer (All downhill from here) challenged me! I had posted a few images of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds at our feeder (Rod Get’s A Hummer). Andrew challenged me to post some images of the birds hovering, without the feeder in view – the rotter! Click on an image for a larger view.
This afternoon I tried. The birds knew what I was up to and kept buzzing me and tempting me. With a 300mm zoom lens and not the fastest body (camera or human), this was a bit unrealistic. My only hope was to catch the hummers near the feeder – they don’t come to the flowers regularly enough to catch them there. Unfortunately, a female RTH sat in a nearby tree and every time another hummer tried to come to the feeder she would swoop down and chase it off. Then return to her branch and preen herself.
She did let a male settle and drink, I expect it was her mate. But they rarely bothered to hover. They just swooped in and landed. Eventually I got a few opportunities to catch one landing or hovering. But they were always fairly close to the feeder.
I focused the lens on a perching bird switched to manual focus and adjusted for a little more distance, then tried pressing he shutter as they came into view.
With a bit of cheating with the crop tool I have a few, not quite humdingers, but adequate to say I answered the challenge.
It was a good challenge. After two hours and 172 photos, play was stopped for tea. When I buy my blind I shall try again. Now Andrew, when will you show us images of your Blue Chasers in the air – not just lounging about on a twig?