Hummingbird in Repose

I have to tell you I think this is the first time I have ever seen a live hummingbird not flapping its wings. It was strangely thrilling. And of course, it didn’t last long.

28 Comments on “Hummingbird in Repose”

  1. I tried to take pictures of a hummingbird that frequented the feeder outside of my apartment back int he day. I had an Olympus SLR that could shoot at 1/1000th of a second. I took about a dozen shots, on a tripod, and was dissapointed to find the hummingbird was blurred in all of them. It reacted so quick to the sound of the, admittedly loud, shutter that it blurred int he frame. When I lined it up in the eyepiece I snapped the picture and the hummingbird would have changed location by a couple inches when the mirror dropped down again!

    A quieter shutter, a faster speed, or, as you did, repose; is the only way to go!

  2. Once, when we had the doors and windows of the sunroom open to let the varnish on the DIY recyled floor dry (don’t ask, one of Dad’s projects) we had a humming-bird fly in and become trapped. My mother caught it in her hands, and took it outside to let it go, marveling all the time how very, very tiny and weightless it seemed. It was, she said, like having nothing in her hands at all.

  3. I blinked and almost missed it. The bird’s in shadow, and they’re such small creatures I initially couldn’t tell the difference between it and the leaves. It’s a gorgeous shot, it really is (I do envy your photography skills!), but my eyesight’s so bad I spent about thirty seconds looking at the picture and saying to myself “Okay, so where’s the damn bird, already?”


  4. No more in shadow than anything else in the shot. It’s at the very top of a branch, a little to the right of center in the overall shot, beak pointing at 2 o’clock. Or at least that’s a bird of some sort…

  5. Very nice! I think I’ve seen a hummingbird perched once in my life, and it lasted about 3 seconds. So, he was gone for about 15 seconds before I remembered my phone had a camera.

  6. What the hell is wrong with him? There are plenty of unemployed animals who would love to do his job. Tell him to get back to work or we’ll replace him.

    Lazy teenage jerk…


  7. Hummingbirds; apparently I have lived in the Hummingbird capital of the world and I cannot recall having seen any in recent memory, I guess I need to get away from the internet more often and enjoy the great out doors.

  8. We had a grumpy old hummingbird living in a pine in front of our house. It used to buzz my wife when she was working in the garden. It also used to ignore the hummingbird feeder until the sugar water had been sitting out long enough to ferment. Those two things might have been related.

    We used to hear it all the time, and see it setting on a branch every once in a while.

  9. Nice memories of my mom’s hummingbird feeder. Mostly ruby throats, but always fun to see them. In San Diego I would see them darting in and out of the star jasmine on summer evenings. Thanks for sharing this!

  10. Aw! So cute! We have them all over the place, here in Seattle. I used to have a hummingbird feeder right outside my kitchen window … and every once in awhile you’d get the feeling you were being watched …

    Such pretty little things. I love ’em…

  11. Nice pic, John.

    It’s great to see them in repose because suddenly you can tell that they’re birds. In motion, they’re just too insectoid to seem real.

    And someday I’ll get back to Arizona with time to scope out all the cool species we don’t have here…

  12. Use to have a humming bird that lived outside my home. It would sit in the tree and chirp at us when we were coming in and out of the garage. It was fun to put out a feeder for it. It would often sit on the feeder while eating. They are ALL OVER the US. They are in Seattle all year round due to the relative lack of Winter/Summer.

  13. I love hummingbirds. We have several that visit our yard every day. I swear they like to buzz me, flying really close. They do seem to make a buzz noise when flying by. I’ve seen them stop, but you’re right, it is rare. I just love the colors of their feathers.

  14. I live in San Diego. I sit on my porch and watch them perch like that all the time. They make this almost imperceptibly high-pitched sucking whistle when they sit there. It’s actually quite beautiful and soothing. If you ever see one zipping straight up into the air then shooting down like a bat out of hell over and over again, it’s a male doing it’s courtship. They also crunch when you bite them.

  15. It is the moments like this in life that make you stop, smile and wonder about life. Like you see your newborn sleeping for the first time. Or when chatty Kathy at work pauses to catch her breath. Such simple things and yet you enjoy them that much more for that fact.

  16. I can’t tell from the picture, but is that a Ruby Throated Hummingbird? I only ask because until recently that was petty much the only species found in Ohio. However, for the last couple of years Rufous Hummingbirds have been showing up in Central Ohio. I’d be interested to know if they’ve managed to increase their range to your part of the state.

  17. If your hummingbird feeder is low enough, you can stand perfectly still with your two index fingers where the perches are on the feeder and the hummingbirds will land on your fingers. Granted you have to stand very still for quite some time, but it will work. It’s a strange feeling – tiny pinpricks on your fingers with almost no weight at all. Plus you get to see them very close up. The only real problem is holding your arms up that long. If there are a lot of hummingbirds vying for the perches, it can take less time than you might imagine for one to land. Quite the experience.

  18. Good picture!

    Hummingbirds are great fun. After dinner, we go out and watch the antics of Anna’s hummingbirds around the feeders until dark. It’s better than TV. We’ve learned to recognize them both by appearance (they are recognizable as individuals) and behavior (ditto). I’m learning that their anti-social reputation (largely earned) hides something more complex. For example, I’ve seen two females share a single feeder (taking turns at the opening), and seen a dominant male allow a youngster to feed, even though he vigorously chases others away.

  19. Last time I had to replace the hummingbird feeder, I deliberately looked for one with perches, because I love to see them sit like that–and then chase each other off of the perches! You get pretty good at spotting them in the trees, after a while of that, too, but I’ve never managed to photograph one. Great shot!

  20. “I have to tell you I think this is the first time I have ever seen a live hummingbird not flapping its wings.”

    Really? Because, at my house there’s always one selfish little shit who’s parked himself on the feeder–using the handy perches–where he can guard and hog all the sugar water all day. Especially this time a year when the Rufus hummingbirds come through. They are especially feisty. A few of the lower ranking, but no less bellicose, hummingbirds are usually stationed in nearby bushes or the sunflowers, creating a gauntlet for any other birds that try to get to the feeder.

  21. We have a hummer who likes to perch in the top of the cherry tree at dusk and chitter away. But we have a hardy batch that lives here year-round.

    When I was a kid, the hummers used to nest around the house. One time a nest fell down and my mother rescued a baby. While she was fixing up a replacement nest (Cool Whip container holding the nest, tied to the tree, baby hummingbird sat on my finger. I actually have pictures…

  22. I’ll confess, I never saw hummingbirds land on anything until last summer. Like comment #23 I have one very selfish one who sits on a tree branch above the feeder and chases off any others that try to feed. I tried two feeders to resolve the problem, but they seem to like fighting! This little buzzer even chases off bigger birds who have the audacity to perch on the fence near the feeder….the ultimate Napoleon complex!

  23. In the interest of adding something serious to this thread: my grandma’s house is awful for hummingbirds. The poor things get stuck inside all the time. It’s really sad, because they are beautiful creatures, who really do never stay still. How you got that picture is beyond me. Don’t they have to consume 10 times their weight to keep going?

  24. The one time I saw a stationary hummingbird was a few years ago at work. I was coming back from lunch, and spotted a tiny, shining, green hummingbird sitting by the curb. I took a picture (which was out of focus – very sad). He continued to sit there. I was afraid he would be run over, so I picked him up and placed him in a clearing next to our office. He didn’t even try to fly away when I was carrying him. I think he was stunned.

    He turned his head and looked at me while I was carrying him. I like to think he knew I wasn’t going to hurt him.

    I went back an hour later and he was gone. I hope he flew away.

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