Woman photographs gorgeous hummingbirds in her yard
Posted August 21
Hummingbirds move fast. While their maximum forward flight speed is 30 miles per hour, they can reach up to 60 miles per hour in a dive. That would be over the speed limit on a lot of roads!
Not surprising, it’s difficult to capture these speedy little buggers on camera. Yet one California woman has managed to capture some beautiful shots of the birds in her own backyard.
Tracy Johnson’s stunning photos of the hummingbirds are posted on her Instagram account, hummingbirdsxoxo. Her bio sets the record straight that none of the photos is fake: “The birds are REAL. If I could do animation I would animate tiny dragons landing on me instead of birds. All content by me (and the birds).”
Check out this awesome snap of a hummingbird captured mid-flight, displaying its many-colored feathers:
OHMYGOODNESS!!! I'm so excited to report that this photograph I took of Squeaky McGee (a female Rufous Hummingbird) was chosen as one of the "Top 100 Photos" in the the 2017 Audubon Photography Awards. I didn't win the contest, but it's a HUGE honor to be listed in the Top 100 photos. According to the Audubon Society website: There were more than 5500 photos entered in the contest. "Photographers from 49 States and eight Canadian provinces submitted images…" Click on the Link in my bio to see my photo on the Audubon site! I'm the 100th photo in the collection. (More fun zeroes!) âºï¸ Thank you to the Audubon Society for choosing me as one of the Top 100. â¤ï¸ @audubonsociety
Johnson has learned a lot of about hummingbirds since she started documenting them.
“Each bird is different from the next. You can tell the difference between them if you focus and pay attention,” she told The Dodo, adding that around 20 hummingbirds regularly visit her home. “I’ve gotten to know them very well. They all have personalities.”
There's a family of wild cottontail bunnies living in our backyard beneath the solar panels. During the daytime they all come down the mountainside (which is about 10 feet wide , but it's mountainside when you're only six inches tall!) and the mom (Daisy) stashes each of the three baby bunnies in three separate places: Lola spends her days in the pink bushes near the stone steps. Lucas spends his days in the purple bushes beside the swimming pool and Lex spends his days in the container that holds the coiled up garden hose. Every other day I bring out a couple of baby carrots and break them apart and divide them up between the babies. It's gotten so that Lola is comfortable enough with me that, if she's out on the lawn eating grass, she comes hopping towards me when I walk over to where she lives. I always call out "Carrots, Lola! Carrots!". The other two are much more shy and won't come out until I walk away. It was only this morning that I discovered that Lola thinks her name is "Carrots". I did an experiment and called out just her name when I stopped by with her Carrot pieces. I called out "Lola! Hi Lola!" She didn't hop out of the bushes: so I called again "Lola! It's me! Hi Lola!" Again. Nothing. So finally I called out "Carrots!" And who came hippity hopping out but Little Miss Carrots herself? â¤ï¸ if you want to see pictures of Lola and her mom, Daisy, you can head over to my other Instagram @tracylovesthestarsxoxo But I should warn you: I post a lot of pictures of my cat, Red. In other news: You know those days when you have spiderweb on your head and nobody bothers to tell you? Those days are sooooo annoying….
Johnson notes that the hummingbirds sometimes display behavior similar to human interactions. She captioned the video below of three birds drinking, which she posted with the caption:
“I guess, in hummingbird land, one way to get rid of the competition when you’re sitting at a bar with a girl you like is to make the other guy super uncomfortable by drinking from his drink. Watch how the Annas male on the left (Raphael) leans over and asserts his dominance by drinking from the feeder port in front of the male on the right (Romeo). (The bird in the middle is a female that Raphael seems to be trying to impress).”
I guess, in hummingbird land, one way to get rid of the competition when you're sitting at a bar with a girl you like is to make the other guy super uncomfortable by drinking from his drink. Watch how the Annas male on the left (Raphael) leans over and asserts his dominance by drinking from the feeder port in front of the male on the right (Romeo). (The bird in the middle is a female that Raphael seems to be trying to impress). Romeo did end up filing a formal complaint with the manager (me). Watch how Romeo turns and faces the camera… then flies a bit and turns and faces the camera again. The tail feathers at the top of the screen are because he flew up to me to have a chat. Presumably about the lack of respect shown to him by the other patrons. I comped his sugar water and sent him on his way with tickets for free bug kabobs on his next visit. Meanwhile… In predictable fashion: the bad boy bird got the girl. âºï¸ Slo Mo #iphone6s video. Feeders from www.hum-fi.com filled with 1 part white table sugar mixed with 4 parts water.
Johnson tells The Dodo that being in the right place at the right time to photograph her birds requires patience and skill. To perfect her art, she’s put in a lot of practice. She notes that sometimes she’d wait for 30 minutes for a bird to arrive, only to have them leave for another 30 minutes after she takes a quick snap.
We’re glad her persistence has paid off!
[h/t The Dodo]