Flaring Hummingbird Tail

a photograph by Sonja Bingen

When Sonja came to visit two weeks ago, she took several photographs of the hummingbirds that Ethel attracts through three feeders to the south and west. Continental Divide is on the conveyor belt for hummingbirds that runs along the continental divide from Canada through New Mexico, and Ethel attracts thousands of hummingbirds to our yard every year. She fills every feeder four or five times a day and goes through an elaborate routine at the kitchen sink to prepare sugar water for the small, buzzing birds, including cleaning each feeder with each new fill, making sure she’s boiled and cooled the water enriched with sugar, and getting just the right formula every time. We currently have five species coming to the feeders, although we see seven different species during the typical summer. The other day Ethel saw an unusual bird that was roughly twice the size of the others. This was a first and has not been seen again. There are so many in the evenings just before sunset that the air between the dead pinion tree over our fence, the chain link silver fence itself, and the air around the feeders has a kaleidoscope of hummingbirds. Sometimes they are lined up three deep at each “flower” where they can get at the nectar. Sonja has the patience of a great photographer and patiently waited in the sun on a hot day to get a score of shots like the one here.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Flaring Hummingbird Tail

  1. Thank you for your & your family’s presence here on WordPress…

  2. Nothing so endearing as these little “helicopter” birdies!

  3. Caddo Veil

    WOW, I had no idea there were so many species of hummingbirds!! Great job!

  4. I must echo what Lindy Lee says – thank you for your family’s presence here. This is another remarkable photo!

  5. Julie Catherine

    Sonja, what a beautiful photo! I love hummingbirds, and you’ve captured this little one perfectly … just awesome! 🙂

  6. sonjabingen

    They are so quick they are hard to photograph!
    Thank you to all who comment on this site, you have helped my parents heal from a terrible loss. I am so indebted to all of you for your value of their talents!

  7. What patience both Sonja and Ethel have. I have learned that hummingbirds need a clean feeder with fresh food. When I was in the Palm Dessert California many years ago, early in morning the hummingbirds came in the dozens to the fuchsias just outside the terrace of the room I was staying in. And in the evening, too! What a magnificent experience it was watching them.

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