The nectar games

When the competition at the feeder was too rough, some hummingbirds opted to find nectar in the wildflowers below. The competition there was pretty good too — what with all those butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Here, a hummingbird goes for what must be the juiciest flower in the garden, since the butterfly was already there.

7-26 HB-Butterfly8-Edit
7-26 HB-Butterfly7-Edit

Summer flashback

After a mostly gray, soggy and cold week, it was nice to find reminders of summers past in the photo files.  Each year, we enjoy the aerial antics of the ruby-throated hummingbirds who spend the summer with us  following their  yearly migration from central America.  Their quickness of wing is always a challenge for the little pocket digital cameras, but that doesn’t keep us from trying to capture them in pixels.

Hummingbird at feeder.
Hummingbird goes in for refueling. Taken July 19, 2014.

 

Nemesis

Anyone who has a hummingbird feeder is familiar with the rigidly enforced pecking order of the birds who feed, or try to feed, there. This morning it was somewhat was amusing (OK, satisfying) to see the boss bird being chased and herded away from the sweet nectar by a red wasp and another tiny black flying insect.

hummingbirds at feeder
SHOO! Red wasp ‘owns’ the feeder despite the efforts of a trio of hummingbirds.

 

 

 

 

 

On a sad note, there was a recent changing of the guard at our feeder following the death of Napoleon (We found a little hummingbird body back in July that we believe to be his.)

Fall colors.

Not your typical fall colors light up the afternoon on the mountain.

Gray butterfly
Gray butterfly basks in the autumn sun.
Green beetle on orange flower.
This green beetle with black polka dots contrasts with the bright orange petals of this cosmos.
Sunchoke flower
The bright yellow of this sunchoke flower contrast with the bright blue, cloudless fall sky in a shot composed by the wind.
Blue aster
Blue wildflower brightens the September garden.

Battling birds

A storm rumbled in the background while birds rumbled in the foreground. This sequence was captured from video taken by the digital still camera. [What’s wrong with that picture?]

Sequence of hummingbirds fighting
Hummingbirds spend more time fighting than feeding. (still capture from digital video)
Small lightning stroke
Lightning in Saline County during a summer storm in the Ouachitas (still capture from digital video)

Curious Georgette

There’s one female hummingbird who seems to have made the connection between the people inside the house and the nectar in the feeders. When the feeder is dry, she hovers in front of the windows. Is she signalling us? Or is she checking to see if anyone is coming toward the deck?

Tonight, as I quietly moved to the deck to photograph a deer grazing below among the sunchokes and overgrown poke, this female hummingbird buzzed right up to the lens. Did not have the flash on for this just-before-sunset sequence, but that’s just as well — she might have been startled and a her curiosity dashed.

Hummingbird gets her closeup.
Is she curious, or just making sure the photographer catches her best side?