Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

November 25, 2012

Yet another Anna’s Hummingbird

Filed under: Birds, comparisons, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch — richditch @ 10:12 am
Anna's Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird

Here’s another keeper (actually a pair of keepers) from my most recent visit to the Gilbert Water Ranch. On my way out I came upon this Anna’s Hummingbird catching the sun on a tiny branch at trailside so I paused for a few frames before it flew off.

The brilliant colors on a hummingbird’s gorget require the light to hit at just the right angle; otherwise they can appear an almost lifeless black (as in the top image). Hummingbirds use this deliberately to attract females and challenge rival males by turning their heads to create maximum effect as needed.

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna’s Hummingbird

Here we can see a trace of color as the hummingbird turned his head slightly. When he directly faced me I got the full blast of color.

Although these two shots are very similar I prefer the first image: there is better definition of the feathers overall, the crown feathers look better, and the bill is parallel to the camera plane so it isn’t foreshortened by the angle.

Here’s an older post showing the full color effect.

Nikon D300, 300/2.8 AF-S plus TC20E III (2x), tripod, ISO 400, 1/1000th second at f/8, 48% of frame, November 21, 2012 @ 8:27 am

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