Last year I hung a hummingbird feeder on our porch. We spotted the very occasional hummingbird. It wasn't too exciting, and I let the feeder hang there, neglected, all year.
A couple weeks ago I happened to see a hummingbird approach the feeder. He saw it was empty and departed. That was my cue to get the thing down, clean it out, and refresh it with new sugar water. After about a week hanging there, we started to see hummingbirds quite often! And we now have hummingbirds visiting our feeder all through the day.
Of course, I have tried to take pictures of them, mostly from indoors, through a screen and/or dirty window. I didn't get great pictures, and I eventually decided that one problem (besides the dirty window and screen) was that at any part of the day, I was shooting with back light and I would mostly get silhouettes of the bird and the feeder.
So today I ventured out of doors and tried a new angle. I even got my new little tripod out and gripped it to the wall. I played a little with settings ... I noticed the crack in the slats of the wall ... and I got some pictures of a hummingbird.
I have made some observations about hummingbirds through this adventure. They make calls. Mostly they make a clicking type of chirp before they approach the feeder. Whenever I hear this sound, I know I can glance out the window and expect to see a hummingbird. Maybe the sound is to make sure no other hummingbirds object to them taking a drink?
On one particularly busy evening at the feeder I was sitting at my desk, which is just inside the sliding glass door. The door was open and I heard a new sound. It was more like a thrumming sound, lower in pitch and longer than the usual chirp. My curiosity was rewarded as I peered out the door and saw two hummingbirds diving toward and away from each other. Maybe one was protecting his turf?
I read somewhere that hummingbirds will defend their territory. Thus, a person might want to hang several feeders to accommodate several birds. I'm pretty sure there are at least three different birds visiting my feeder. I've seen birds that I reckon to be smaller and larger. And on one occasion, when I happened to stand very still on my porch, a pair of small birds came in and took turns at the feeder.
My overall impression is that hummingbirds are very anxious when the feed, constantly looking all around. But I also think their eyesight isn't very good. You can scare a bird away into the tree, but then if you stand still it will come right back and feed.
I'm kinda obsessed with the hummingbirds. I am constantly glancing up to see if one is there. I hope they keep coming for a while and I can practice my photography more.
Thanks for stopping by!