Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

March 31, 2009

Costa’s Hummingbird with a clean bill

Filed under: backyard, behavior, Birds, light, technique — richditch @ 2:01 pm
Costa's Hummingbird grooming

Costa's Hummingbird grooming

After yesterday’s post of a Costa’s Hummingbird with a pollen-encrusted bill I thought I’d give equal time to a bird with better grooming. This Costa’s Hummingbird was photographed in our back yard as it used one of its tiny feet to readjust the feathers of the gorget or to clean the base of the bill. We’ve lived in this same house in Phoenix, AZ, since 1994 and have had Costa’s in the yard every day since we moved in, but this is the only time I’ve seen and photographed one using a foot in this manner.

The light direction was a bit of a problem so I resorted to some fill from my flash, probably set at my usual -1.7 stop level. I detest using flash at all, preferring the look of natural light and not liking the bright pasty look that flash can deliver. Reducing the power in a fill situation can help control that artificial look so I will put up with the bother of  flash in some conditions.

Nikon D200, 300/2.8 and TC20E (2x), SB-800 flash at -1.7 stops, ISO 400, 1/250th at f/5.6, 8/14/07.

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