I tried a different approach to photographing the smallest bird in the world! After placing my camera on a small, flexible tripod, I placed it on the kitchen countertop about 3 feet from the window. I wanted to get a different perspective and get close enough to use a macro lens. But manual focusing was more difficult, since touching the lens caused the tripod to bounce a little. I noticed the hummingbird tends to hover and feed at about the same place in front of the feeder. So I decided to focus on the bird once, then just shoot during his next visit (hoping he would position himself in the plane of focus for a second or two). It was the easiest shoot so far and produced two photos that I like.
The young male shown here had the feeder almost exclusively to himself yesterday. The adults stayed at the other feeders in the yard. The youngster has learned to accept my presence, even when I move slowly a few feet from him. He usually looks directly at me and always checks out the camera no matter where I place it in the kitchen.
Although the hummingbird has a tiny body, his brain is 4.2% of his body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom. This particular bird’s curiosity is amazing! Recently, my husband and I were standing side by side at the kitchen window watching goldfinches eat seeds from my basil flowers. We froze when the young male suddenly showed up at the feeder. He drank as usual, but before flying away he paused and looked at us; moving his little head back and forth to get a good look at each of us! The hummingbirds always seem to know when something is different from their previous experience!
Both photos: Canon 60D, ISO 1600, 100mm, f/4.0, 1/200.
Click on the photos to enlarge.
The macro photos make the hummingbird look huge! To provide perspective on his size; the flower shape of the feeder measures 1.5 in. (3.8 cm). His body is about 3.3 in (8.5 cm) from the tip of his beak to the tip of his tail.
Hummingbird facts I have discussed on my blog come from World of Hummingbirds. The information on this site is comprehensive and entertaining!