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Old Jun 19, 2004, 6:33 PM   #1
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I went back to the hummingbird location today to try tomeet geoff's recent challenge andto get some photos of the female thathe saidhad a white patch on it's body.So this post will hopefullymeet geoffs's request since I see a white patch (geoff, please let me know). During the processI found out something about hummingbirds. They appear to be very habitual and return to exactly the same branch, over and over again, which was great for me. I had time to set up tripod, lens, remote shutter, and all of the stuff that helps to make a nice photo from time to time. Here are seven hummer photos that I chose from a total of about 300. It was difficult to choose what to post because these birds really performed today. I consider these sevento be revealing moments in this wonderful bird's life. The last photo is a wide angle shot of the location.

View One (looks like a female...??)



I loved the "red" color in this one and was wondering if it means anything? Is it a mating stimulation or something to that effect. I certainly didn't see it in any other photo I took.



Feathering dynamics, wow, I loved this from that tiny animal



More feathering



Looking almost like a boast, claiming, yes, I am tiny but I am beautiful indeed!



Another cool movement from the other end of the spectrum. Perhaps a hummer sneeze?



Where all this was photographed. The hummingbird is slightly to the left of center




And how was your day?




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Old Jun 19, 2004, 7:14 PM   #2
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Norm, you have been really busy, haven't you! This is a really nice series of shots of... a male ruby-throated hummingbird. The females do not show any of the dark throat - their throat is entirely white.

I especially like the second picture because it illustrates very well, with the puffed out gorget feathers the red irridescent color.

Pictures #1, 2, 5, and 6show out really well the forked tail which is specific to the males, while the females have a much blunter tail with white tips to the tail feathers.

I am intrigued by the behavior exhibited in pictures 3 and 4 - the extension of the tail feathers to either side. It really does give one a very good view of the tail feather detail.

Are those aspen or cottonwood trees in that last picture?

I expect that it is quite a bit more difficult to view the females at this time of year - they are probably much more reclusive while they are sitting on the nest and/or raising the young.

At this url you can find pictures of the male and female ruby-throated for comparison:

http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/i4280id.html
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 7:57 PM   #3
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Grrr. I was sure that I'd seen two different birds but I guess not. I'll keep trying, you can bet on that. And where there's a male there's probably a female...somewhere. Thanks geoff.

The tailfeather color will help

As for cottonwoods or aspens, I'm afraid I'm not a tree expert either.


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Old Jun 19, 2004, 8:21 PM   #4
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Nice shots Norm, so what you have in Alberta is the same as in Quebec ? We only have Ruby-throated Hummingbirds here too.

Cheers
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 8:27 PM   #5
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Yes, Eric, I think we should go to the board of birds and demand more hummers at both ends of the country!
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 10:00 PM   #6
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Guys, if global warming is true as is suspected, then perhaps you'll get your wish for a greater variety of hummingbirds :sad:

Also, just verified the leaf shape on the poplar trees in the photograph and it appears to be aspens. Apparently, this site of yours Norm is close to water (a river, swampy area?). It's real good to take notice of the types of vegetation that you find your bird subjects in because different bird species have preferences for different types of trees, shrubs, etc.
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Old Jun 19, 2004, 10:40 PM   #7
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A small lake about 300 yards distant, yes
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Old Jun 20, 2004, 5:39 AM   #8
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well I like shot four. You really seem to have access to many birds there.
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