HummingBirds - ChrisDahl

July, 2015

Like many people I have Hummingbird feeders around my backyard and enjoy the visitors each year. I usually have 4-5 birds (as best I can tell) and one of them usually plays the part of guarding the feeder.

It becomes a big game of chase and the other birds come in from all angles keeping the "Guard" busy.

A few days ago, I decided to try and capture a few of them feeding. In past years I shot them at the feeders, but this time I wanted something that looked more natural.

I collected my gear, a tripod, camera, 100mm lens, flash and other accessories. When I shot them at the feeders, I sat outside and used a cable release and as long as I was still they had no problem with me. This time I decided to use a CamRanger, which worked like a charm.

I set out some flowers, and bated them with nectar and I took the feeders down to get the birds to feed only at the flowers.

The birds came in and circled around where the feeders had been hanging, they paid closer attention to the camera than the flowers. When they did not find feeders they left and did not come back.

A few days later and after some thought, I decided to put a single feeder up and move the flowers right below the feeder. I set the gear back up with the new arrangement and I waited again. This time the birds came in and took the food right out of the feeder and ignored the flowers and the camera.

At this point I decided to plug the feeder holes with pine straw, and again they came back. The started to circled the feeder and fussed about the straw, they left and came back several times. After about 45 minutes they noticed the flowers and tested them out.

Click... Then they were gone. But not for long, as I shot they got more comfortable with the camera and the flash. It took me a bit of time and effort to get used to the slight delay of the CamRanger and the speed of the birds. I took many photos of where the birds had just been.

Keep a spray bottle handy, misting the flowers will give the flowers a nice look. Also be sure to bait the blowers to keep the hummingbirds coming back.

For me I backed the power of the flash off, I wanted some blur to the wings. This took some time to adjust to my liking. The birds would come back as quick as I would refill the flower and reset the equipment.

I hope this gives you some ideas for next season, they are wonderful little birds and a challenge to photograph.

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