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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sometimes you get lucky...

It's that time of year around here when I go through white sugar 
like a candy crazed toddler.
No, not for me but for those tiny miracles of the bird world...
The hummingbirds.
I have 3 feeders right now as opposed to one during the winter.
The Anna's hummingbird sticks around all year and I keep them fed
through rain and snow and sleet and hail.
Then around the beginning of March, the Rufus hummers show up.
These guys are small but mighty and VERY territorial.
They chase the Anna's away constantly and chase each other and 
anything else that gets in their way.
Capturing their picture can be quite challenging.
Sometimes they play peek-a-boo...
Sometimes they just become a fiery, whirling blur...
Or you catch a bit of those magical light defracting grating feathers...
Maybe you'll get a glimpse of the power of those tiny wings that can beat up to 80 times a second!!
Think about that...can you count to 80 in a second?!
And then there's the moment you get lucky!
Just clicking the shutter button at the right time...
To catch a shot of these small wonders is such a treat...

They are so busy just trying to stay alive...sucking back all of that nectar to keep
up their strength to fly up to speeds of 55km /hr or 35km/hr backwards!
To keep that minuscule heart beating at rates of up to 1,260 beats per minute is a lot of work!
Their wee lungs can take up to 250 breaths a minute...
And then at night they sleep...deep sleep...torpor it's called.
 A type of hibernation that allows them to conserve massive amounts of energy
by lowering their body temperature and almost shutting down their kidneys.
They can lose 10% of their body weight at night.
Then at first light in the morning, you hear them...that delightful buzzing sound and they're at it again
So here's to these, the smallest of bird species, 
 for sure the busiest, 
certainly one of the most entertaining
and definitely one of the sweetest!

1 comment:

farmlady said...

Wonderful post about one of my favorite birds. The photos are exquisite. It's more than luck, capturing these little guys and having the patience to wait until they're not moving.
Use to have a Rufus here but haven't seen one in a couple of years. Very nice photos all.