Sunday, September 23, 2012

Late Summer Hummers

As an artist who does art fairs, I talk to a lot of people. I frequently get asked if I have a drawing of this or that animal or bird. I've had some interesting requests--a squirrel, a turkey vulture. One of the more common requests I've had over the years is for a humming bird. I've never drawn one as I haven't gotten shots to work from that I was really excited about.

That all changed a few weeks ago when I went out in our back yard with my new camera and set it up on a tripod aimed at the rose of sharon, which was in full bloom at the time. I had seen as many as three at a time sipping nectar from the flowers so figured I had a good chance of getting something interesting.

I wasn't disappointed.

I was amazed, looking at these images, by how their tiny little toes grip the edge of a petal, giving them a little support and probably making it so they don't have to flap those little wings quite so fast.

Such an impossibly tiny thing!

They are quite aggressive birds, and we often see them sparring over the humming bird feeder on the balcony. But here there was enough to go around, and no fights broke out.

Unbelievable, the iridescence of this bird. How does one capture that quality on paper?

Not one of the sharpest shots, but I love seeing her little feet tucked under her.

It's funny to see such a tiny bird perched on the thick cables and wires. There is a male who in summer sits on the power line that stretches across the driveway, who keeps a very close eye on the feeder. I have not seen him for some time--perhaps he has already headed south. This little lady paused for a few minutes on the cable line.

We still have, as of yesterday, one hummer hanging around. It's getting a bit late, they are usually gone by now. But the rose of sharon bloomed late this year, and perhaps some other plants did too, allowing them to bulk up a bit more for their impossible journey south. I wish them the best of luck.


  1. beautifull shots HOW IN THE WOrd do you get that close!!!

  2. I agree with Sharon - absolutely beautiful pictures!

  3. Thanks Ladies! I have a 300mm lens with an extender, plus some cropping in Photoshop. Having a decent lens and camera help as the images a sharp and can handle being cropped. But the birds are really not all that concerned with my presence and I can set the camera up very close to them. I've had them try to eat out of the feeder while I'm hanging it up!