Day 345 part 2—Cold War

I had to redeem myself after posting such disappointing photos in my earlier Day 345 post, so when I heard the squeaking of a hummer outside, I went out in search of him. I found this guy, perched high up in the photinias keeping an eye on his feeder and still obviously in fighting mode. He was aware of me and my camera and was continuously posturing; I think that the changing appearance and color of the head and neck feathers and his fluffed feathers must indicate some sort of intimidation posture.

Once again I’m including a group of photos. It kills me to post out-of-focus photos so I’m glad these have acceptable focus. I shot all the photos at 300mm focal length, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/125 shutter speed, WB set to Sunny; I cropped each one and added a curves adjustment to brighten them slightly. The last one is my favorite.

Day 345—War Zone

My hummingbird feeder has become a war zone. This morning I saw a couple of hummers buzzing around the feeder and then perching on a nearby branch, each facing a different direction, craning their necks and in constant motion, as if looking for something. I watched this for a while wondering why they were acting so oddly when I saw the reason they were so nervous. Two interlopers were aggressively trying to gain access to the feeder. I know people who have feeders where many hummingbirds congregate peacefully at the same time but the hummers that come to my feeder seem to have claimed it, watch it from afar, and chase interlopers away. Today, however, was a different story. They had to fight. I watched and snapped photos for more than 15 minutes as four hummingbirds waged intense aerial warfare battling for feeder supremacy.

Because I was photographing from inside the house through dirty, double-paned windows, the focus is very soft; in addition I had a pretty slow shutter speed making camera movement more obvious but I did think to set focus to “continous” which helped a little. I had to make a few curves adjustments. I included a series of photos today just because I think they’re interesting. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture all four or even three in the air at once. I don’t consider any of these photos good because the focus is so soft. But I like the action shots; if I’d gone outside for clearer focus, they probably would have
called a temporary truce so I’m going with what I have.




Lull in the Fighting: