Stalking the Wild Hummingbird

The blooming Echium on the south side of the park offers millions of individual blossoms and serves as a magnet for bees and hummingbirds.  The other day I saw a hummingbird working the Echium, but lack of light prevented a good shot.  This glorious morning after the night’s deluge I staked out the blooming bush, and was soon rewarded.  I had a fat bumblebee in my viewfinder when suddenly a bigger and more colorful presence filled my screen.  This orange and green creature with a throat that changed colors with the light was a Rufous Hummingbird.  With my shutter speed fixed at 1/1000, and bright sun, I managed to get some halfway decent images of this fast-moving sprite.  Its throat glowed neon magenta in the sun.  It turned dark in the shade, except for a flash of gold now and then.  Depending on the light, the back turns rusty brown or green. The Rufous are said to be bullies in the hummingbird world, charging with their nasal dagger to chase away birds three times their size.   Here’s more about them on the Cornell and the Audubon websites.   

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