Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hummingbird sips

 Who is not forever fascinated by a hummingbird? Such aerial stunts! I can sit and watch this returning female hover up and down, left and right as a gentle breeze gently swings the feeder. It is as though she is weightless. She tracks the feeder with such precision that she surely knows the mathematical arc it traces.

 This is a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird ((Archilochus colubris) since the throat is not ruby but white. After Mom told me the hummer was returning regularly while she did the lunch dishes, I pulled up a stool and took camera in hand and waited. I didn't have to wait long.

 Her wings beat with such speed that my camera, even on a bright day (though cloudy) and with 400 ISO, will not freeze the movement of her tiny wings. Yet look at how still her precise beak is thrust into the feeder nozzle.
 Occasionally I will hear a hummingbird pass me in the yard. It is truly a memorable hum and one I've never forgotten since first hearing it. Since we have hummers about, I will see them dart about and even land on a tree branch to rest. The first I ever saw, as a child in Miamisburg and darting about our flowers, impressed me at first as a large bumblebee.
 When the sun is shining, this bird's feathers take on a metallic green shine. It is like an emerald taken to flight.