Friday, September 5, 2008

Hummingbird season ending

It seems we have to fill the hummingbird feeder almost daily now that the spot has become so popular. This female Ruby-throated Hummingbird is having a late-day drink at the feeder in the shot below. Only the female has the white throat; the male is darker, too.

The season ends here about October 1 and so we are in our final weeks with the tiny birds. While we anticipate them each April, there comes a point (just about now, in fact) when the constant work with the feeder begins to get a bit much. Mom makes the red sweet liquid in bulk and keeps it in the refrigerator. We have two feeders which we alternate.
It's fun to watch when we exchange the nearly-empty feeders. I'll usually come in the back door and walk to the kitchen window and already one of the tiny birds will be sipping. They must sit in the maple tree and watch.
This shot was taken late yesterday when the light level was dropping. The shutter speed, by necessity, was too slow to freeze the beating wings. For those interested, I set my camera up on a tripod, framed the shot, manually focused on the feeder, and just waited. When I saw the bird arrive, I tripped the shutter.
We'll miss these little fellows (and gals) in the cold months ahead. I have other hummingbird shots here on the blog that you might enjoy: 6/15/08 - feeding babies; 5/22/08 - nesting.