Hummingbirds and Cardinals

by John Briggs on August 20, 2009

in Bird Photographs, Birding Videos, Blog

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird | Click photo for larger view

Hummingbird migration is underway here along the midcoastof Maine. Since the beginning of the week, Ruby-throated Hummingbird activity has increased 3 fold. My estimates put the yard population of these jewels at 20 individuals which include the 3 nesting pairs who have been around all summer, their young and others coming through to fatten up on nectar. (One of the nesting pair had a nest failure.)

With 10 nectar feeders spread throughout our yard there are still issues. As soon as a hummer lands on a feeder, others descend onto the offender from the trees and shrubs and the chattering and chasing begins.

There are times when I have been in the yard refilling feeders and feared getting run over by these little rockets. They want nothing at their feeders, yours truly included. Sitting on the back deck has become a lesson in the art of dodging these buzzing beauties.

Hummingbirds are not the easiest birds to photograph. Ideally, you would like the bird to land on a natural perch but this is not always the case. Lately I have been using my HD camcorder to capture video of Hummingbirds.

While in the yard Tuesday, a recently fledged female Northern Cardinal was sitting in a shrub looking as if it was lost to the world. The poor soul looked around as if looking for it’s mother. Occasionally, it’s beak would open as if it was saying “Mama… where are you?”

I am shooting plenty of video of the Hummingbirds that are visiting our yard. I hope to have a compilation ready in a week or two. In the mean time, I put together the following HD video.

The first part of this video highlights a Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding at one of our nectar feeders. The second part captures a juvenile female Northern Cardinal. For a wide screen view, click the video to go to the You Tube page that it’s hosted on. Once there, clicking on the HD icon will put the video in wide-screen mode.


Happy birding!



Andy August 20, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I was trimming a bush when I looked up and there perched no less than 3 feet from me, the hummingbird. I could not believe it since they have been skittish.

Then another came by and the two had a short squabble before both flew off.

Gee, no camera and I was doing something else, that they decide to visit me. :)

Great photo BTW.
.-= Andy´s last blog ..Genus Empidonax =-.

Kathiesbirds August 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm

The hummingbirds are migrating through my yard also and I just went out and bought another feeder bringing my totoal to 4, which they are starting to drain every day. During this time I am seeing up to 5 species a day! It is marvelous and it won’t last for long. I had one little hummer come and land on the feeder as I was re-hanging it on its hook. It was less than 3 inches form my hand! I guess mine don’t mind me quite so much! Enjoy your little missiles while you can, they will soon be gone!
.-= Kathiesbirds´s last blog ..Skywatch Friday: It’s all about the Water =-.

kaye August 21, 2009 at 1:08 am

fabulous shot
.-= kaye´s last blog ..Thesaurus Thursday: Beginning =-.

Chris August 21, 2009 at 8:57 am

Wow this picture of the hummingbird is fantastic… Wow, I would only like to see them that close, they are so beautiful! This is a really really great shot!
.-= Chris´s last blog ..Second target species: The short-toed eagle =-.

Amy Price August 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I miss all the cardinals I used to see in MA. Been In Eastport Maine 6 years, and have never seen one. Lots of ruby throated hummers though! Are there many Cardinals in Downeast Maine?

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