Duckboats.net
Skip to Content


Home : Main Forums : Duck Boat/Hunting Forum :

Ooopps---recalculating!

Quote Reply
Ooopps---recalculating!
Yesterday, 8-8-22, after supper, I decided to try and take some hummingbird pictures. I was using my new used Canon 7D that I got in the mail just a week ago. Since the light was going to be an issue maybe, I decided to use my 70mm-200mm f4 L lens. It is a fast lens and I'm pleased with some of the shots I get.

When I finished my shoot, I decided to sit in front of the computer to see what I got. Here is the picture I happened to like for more than just one reason.


This has been a very good year for hummers where Bev and I live, which is just south of Socorro, NM. For almost a week now the hummers have been going through at least 1 gallon of nectar per day. Lately, I have had to add another quart so it is up to 5 a day now. It has been quite a few years since we have had this many hummers show up at our home. Before I forget, on their migration south, which is what is going on now, we have at least four varieties that stop to refuel. They are; black-chinned, broadtail, calliope, and rufous. That is a great collection for this amazing little tyke that give us so much pleasure.
Al

Here is a male black-chinned hummingbird who is definitely involved with the Ooopps, scenario. This particular hummingbird feeder has 6 feeding stations and a 3/16th " plastic coated rail that they can sit on if they care to. Some prefer to fly while feeding. Please remember that hummers lick the nectar. They have the ability to flick their tongue out and in up to 16 times per second. If you click on the picture it will expand in size. Enjoy.




Quote Reply
Re: Ooopps---recalculating! In reply to
Al, my all time favorite topic on duckboats is your hummer pictures. I had no idea about the tongue flicking 16 times per second. Every time I learn something new!
Quote Reply
Re: Ooopps---recalculating! In reply to
Hi Greg,
Thank you for what you had to say. I appreciated it. Right now we are about in the middle of the hummer migration as they are all heading south for Mexico and or Central America. We have 5 feeders up that give us a total of 1 gallon of nectar. They went through that and another 64 ounces. So we are at the 6 quarts per day mark. That just tells me that I need to buy and extra 10 pound bag of sugar so I won't run out. Just so you know, they have already figured out that hummingbirds DO remember where they found food available along their migration pathway.

I look forward to the arrival of hummers (April Fool's Day) serious! That day is almost like waiting for the swallows at San Juan Capistrano (October 23) to begin heading south to Argentina. Anyway, in the springtime we get two varieties that pass back to our areas or points north. That is when we see the black-chin and broadtail hummingbirds. By the way these two varieties will sometimes stay around here until the middle of October before they start flying south.

Here are some pictures of the calliope and rufous hummingbirds that will stop here and stick around awhile putting on some weight. Speaking of that, the calliope male is the 2nd smallest hummingbird in North America. There is one smaller named the bee hummingbird. Anyway, the male is normally always smaller than the female. The calliope male weighs a whopping 0.09 ounces. Now with your thumb and index finger guestimate 3 to 3 1/2 inches. That is the length of the calliope male. It is hard to imagine that touching your thumb might be the tip of his beak and the end of his tail feathers would be touching your index finger. One more tidbit about this tiny marvelous package. No other bird that small even comes close to his record breaking migration path which is 5,600 miles. Some fly north to British Columbia and Alberta and then they head to the southern part of Mexico during the winter months. Just think of how many pit stops they have to make in that journey.

Calliope adult male


I took this shot two days ago.


Here are some pictures of a male rufous. For you folks living in the eastern part of the country you most likely will have the ruby throated hummingbird. The male is notorious for being very territorial. Well, the rufous male takes over just like the ruby throated here in the desert southwest. One thing I quickly found out was that when the migration is in full stride, there are normally so many hummers that it is impossible for any one hummer to take over a feeder. When you might have 15 or 40 hummers at a feeder, yes, it does happen, he doesn't stand a chance.

I took this shot about 10 to 15 years ago. We happened to have had a wonderful monsoon season and the desert was alive with a carpet of wild flowers. Migrating birds just seem to know these things.


Here is an adult male rufous.


This male hummer has a patch of light just hitting part of his gorget (almost like iridescent orange that changes to a bright gold color when the light hits it). If you look at his eye you will see his eyelashes, also. Click on the picture to make it larger. They are pretty easy to see.


I found one more shot of a male rufous.

Last edited by:

Al Hansen: Aug 12, 2022, 8:08 PM
Quote Reply
Re: Ooopps---recalculating! In reply to
That's a lot of hummer deeder maintenance Al, and it's well worth it. Great pics. Eyelashes (I can see them on the pictures)? Those birds are well groomed! We do get the Ruby-throated hummers out here, particularly if you plant for them. My folks in north Jersey have some flower pots on their deck that are planted for hummers and they are coming in and out all day. I was sitting out there a couple of weeks ago with them and the sun was hitting just right, and the colors really jump when that happens.
Quote Reply
Re: Ooopps---recalculating! In reply to
Hi Greg,
Yes, keeping feeders clean is difficult but as you said, they are well worth it. The new feeders that have a water well to discourage mostly ants works wonderfully. I have two of them. Some times on the hanging glass or plastic feeders, I will use petroleum jelly to discourage them. I will apply it where the hanger/hook is. If ants are climbing up a 4x4 for example, then I will use a spray to stop them from using the wood to climb. With our dogs, that is not used and if I did, then I won't let Belize into that area.

We have about 15 desert willow trees here and they help a lot. There is also a Japanese Mimosa and the hummers love those blossoms just as much. We had such a terrible drought this spring and into the first half of June,that even with watering the flowering plants that we have didn't do much. We have one spot that did work and that where all of our penstemon grow. You can find them growing wild around here so the hummers know what they are all about. Finally we have an arbor with an orange trumpet vine. The hummers love them, also.

Your parents have to be having fun with the hummers in their area. It is good to hear that they are having such a good time. Thanks for you input, Greg.
Al

This is an adult female black-chinned hummingbird. She and all the other hummers along with Bullock's orioles love the nectar produced by the flowering ocotillo that we have on the west side of our garage door. Every spring in May they bloom.




This is an adult Bullock's female.






Here is what the Bullock's adult male looks like. He's definitely a keeper!





Quote Reply
Re: Ooopps---recalculating! In reply to
Al-the Bullocks Oriole is spectacular. I was not aware there was a yellow oriole.Every so many years I will see a Baltimore Oriole around here, but they are not common. I did also once have an Orchard Oriole in the backyard. It is not near as brightly colored, but it was very distinct, so I ran in and got my bird book. One summer I was up in Ontario about 50 miles west of Hamilton, and there were Baltimore Orioles everywhere. They are very vocal. I'm going to get some info this fall and winter on local plantings for hummers. I do get a pretty good variety of birds in my yard that are in the area, and I get a lot of enjoyment from them, as I'm sure you and your wife do. With a little more work I can get more.
Quote Reply
Re: Ooopps---recalculating! In reply to
That is a really good plan you are talking about, Greg. It is never too late to begin a project to attract birds to your yard. Best of luck to you. If you by chance have a nursery in your area, ask the workers about the plants that they have and which ones will be the best to raise to attract hummers or other species of birds you might like to have.

I found another picture of a Bullock's oriole that was up on one of our feeders. Just remember this one thing, Greg. Orioles love, yes really LOVE Grape Jam!.
Al





I sat outside this afternoon to see what kind of action I might get from the hummers. It was fun. These pictures I cropped but just so you know they were only about 10 to 12' away. They are beginning to not fly away when they here my shutter clicking, especially on the burst mode when it is taking 8 pictures per second.


Here is an adult male black-chin hummer. You can see part of his purple gorget. His entire throat area is purple when the light hits it just right.





Here is a juvenile male rufous who is just beginning to get those brilliant orange feathers growing in his gorget. (throat area)





This is a broadtail male. When the males are in our area, you know it right away because the wing beat has a metalic sound to it.



This is another juvenile rufous male. By the way, all the adult rufous and calliope hummers have left our area and maybe are in Mexico by now.


When you think about it Greg, when the bluewing teal begin to migrate the first ones down here are always the adult males. Then later on is when the juveniles come followed by the adult hens. Guess what happens with the rufous hummingbirds? The exact same thing.
Quote Reply
Re: Ooopps---recalculating! In reply to
Hi Al-I went on a dove shoot last week, and was sitting on the corner of a sunflower field. I guess a few errant seeds were in the original planting mix, and there were a few of another variety that were much smaller and were still blooming. And what shows up on them, but a couple of hummers. They entertained me for several minutes, while doves flew past me unmolested and unnoticed. They gave me quite a show. After they left, I resumed my dove shooting(and missing).
Quote Reply
Re: Ooopps---recalculating! In reply to
 




Well, Greg, there is no doubt that you dialed in on the hummers. What makes it so much fun is that they were probably the last thing you ever imagined you'd be looking at on a dove hunt.

Several years back I was sitting on the edge of a alfalfa field that had been flooded and was looking at the moon that was about to set behind the mountains to the west of me and behind me I the early morning gray sky was getting lighter and after checking I found out it was time to hunt if birds came in. I looked back at the beautiful scene of the full moon about to set and opted to grab my camera and take a picture or two. I loved the pictures but gave up the rights to at least 4 or more teal that were almost setting down in my decoy spread but then they noticed me. Oh well.
Al

This hummer,which I think is a juvenile male black-chin, was about 4 1/2' from me when I took the shot. I was using my 70mm-200mm L lens that up close minimum was 1.2mm. Since I like the shot, I also cropped it.

As for the teal, they were on the pond three days ago. Our season begins on Saturday,9-10-22 at 6:17 AM. I have gotten dirty looks from Chip wondering why I didn't shoot. I always tell him that it was still too early to shoot. To me that means that 6:16 AM is too early.

I happened to find that shot of the moon which I took on 9-19-13. I'm glad I took the picture.