I spent an indolent morning watching ruby-throated hummingbirds this morning. I ate breakfast, then went out onto the patio with my camera. I sat down and propped my feet up. The humid air was warm, but there was a bit of a breeze and it wasn't uncomfortable. Many ruby-throated hummingbirds show up in our garden from July through October as they fly through on their way to the Yucatan coast for the winter.
I breathed in the moist air and listened to the bugs and the many bird calls. Once upon a time, as I was recovering from an operation, I sat and recorded the bird species I could see by watching through the front windows. I counted eighteen different species in one day. The total number of bird species recorded at nearby Aldridge Gardens is 97, the last I heard. The official field check list of Alabama birds lists 433 species, including those who migrate through the state. Amongst all those birds, hummingbirds may be the most entertaining and also the most challenging to photograph!The Ruby-throated Hummingbird beats its wings an average of 52 times per second and can move much faster than my pitiful reflexes. There are 320 different species of hummingbirds, and they each make a different humming sound, determined by how fast their wings beat.
The images in this post are my best efforts over almost two hours today. I did not stress over getting photos, however. I was outside to enjoy the morning until rising summer vapors drove me back into the air-conditioned house.
Hummingbirds will often return to the same bird feeder year after year. Ruby-throated hummingbirds may live as long as a dozen years, though the average is probably less than half that. I have had this old plastic feeder for probably that many years. I have tried other feeders, but the hummers seem to prefer this gaudy plastic one. For more information about hummingbirds, see my previous post A Hummingbird In My Garden.