Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

February 12, 2012

Anna’s Hummingbirds

Filed under: Birds, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch — richditch @ 6:48 pm
Anna's Hummingbird male

Anna's Hummingbird male

Nikon D300, AF-S 300/2.8 plus TC20E III (2x), tripod, ISO 800, 1/200th second @ f/8, 2/7/2012, 60% of frame

One of the treats of living in Phoenix is year-round hummingbirds. The most common is the Anna’s Hummingbird which can be encountered in many places and habitats.

Males, as seen in the top image, have brilliant rose-red feathers on the head – at least when the light strikes them at the proper angle. In the wrong light these feathers appear almost black. This image was at the Gilbert Water Ranch under hazy late morning light when the hummingbird turned his head to the perfect position to light up the feathers. I used spot metering as I was concerned the overly bright setting would lead to under exposure.

Anna's Hummingbird female on nest

Anna's Hummingbird female on nest

Nikon D300, AF-S 300/2.8 plus TC20E III (2x), tripod, ISO 800, 1/50th second @ f/8, 2/5/2012, 48% of frame

Females are much duller than the males, and it is often safest to not assign a species to a female hummingbird without careful scrutiny. But Anna’s females often show some color on the throat as seen in this image of one on an active nest at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Light was minimal for this shot because the nest is on a branch in a thickly foliated tree. Even at ISO 800 my shutter speed was only 1/50th second – but with my solid Gitzo carbon fiber tripod and all the head movements locked down the only motion I had to worry about came from the hummingbird. For me thaat’s a much better choice than blasting the bird with electronic flash.

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1 Comment »

  1. Good hummer nest shot Rich, they have such an interesting assortment of stuff they use for their nests.

    Comment by Jim Hackley — March 2, 2012 @ 3:19 pm


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