2023—On High Alert

The male Anna’s Hummingbird has been on high alert for the past couple of weeks. Interlopers in his territory have kept him so busy keeping them away from “his” feeders that he has rarely come to the feeders when I’m set up to photograph him there. Instead, he perches high on a bare branch that gives him a view of all of the feeders (there are four that he watches over) so that at the first sign of any transgression, he is off and chasing. Now that it appears that there are female Black-chinned and Allen’s Hummingbirds as well as female Anna’s in the area that dare to feed in his territory, he has been quite busy. A couple of days ago I counted three other hummers buzzing around as he frantically chased them down. The chase sometimes comes so close to me as I’m standing there with my hummingbird rig ready to fire that I have actually ducked as he chases them either over my head or past my shoulder. I decided if I was going to get any shots of him at all, I needed to focus on him as he watched over his territory. I had to wait a bit for him to turn his head just right so that his gorget glowed like a backlit ruby. Milliseconds later, he was off and running again.

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