Beak Photos

Late Afternoon Flight
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Late Afternoon Flight

On an afternoon walk at the beach recently we noticed this hummingbird who seemed to be contemplating the sinking late afternoon sun. It took a little manuvering, but I was able to get a few silhouette shots just as he took flight. This is a double exposure of two successive frames. In the first frame he had released his grip on the perch and spread his wings, but not actually taken flight yet. Only one sixth of a second later he was moving fast. Fast enough to leave me staring into the glare of the sun with no idea where he'd gone after that.


Annas in Flight
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Annas in Flight

This is another shot of one of the beautiful Anna's hummingbirds I was following around Valley Hills Nursery in Carmel. It looks like a beautiful spring day, but a beautiful nursery can make any day look like a beautiful spring day in California.


Thoughtful Hummer
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Thoughtful Hummer

This little guy was actually as interested in me as I was in him. He flew around a bit and kept coming back to this spot. As I moved closer and closer every few shots, he would tilt his head back and forth seemingly trying to see what I was up to. Even at rest he was graceful and beautiful.


Nectar Sample
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Nectar Sample

This is another shot of my friend from the Carmel Nursery. This is after he got bored with me. He watched me for a while, tilting his head back and forth, and when he decided I was safe or maybe not very interesting, he decided to make the rounds to his favorite flowers. He was so graceful as he hovered from flower to flower.


Taking Flight
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Taking Flight

This weekend between rainstorms, I had the great pleasure of wandering around a beautiful nursery in Carmel California. Valley Hills Nursery is one of my favorite spots to visit when I'm in the area, and not only for thier plants. They always have a very friendly Hummingbird population, this weekend they seemed to be even more cooperative than usual. This beauty was actually almost hamming it up for me, he seemed as curious about me as I was about him.


Hummingbird Sampling Nectar
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Hummingbird Sampling Nectar

Last weekend the Hummingbirds were very busy at the local nurseries. This girl (an Anna's Hummingbird) in particular was spending a lot of time at her favorite flowers. She was not particularly excited to have me there at first. But it was easy to see she really loved these flowers, some kind of South African Lily I believe. So all I had to do was get a step closer each time she came by, and she eventually was pretty comfortable with me.


Hummingbird Lunchtime
Monday, November 21, 2011
Hummingbird Lunchtime

Don't you hate it when someone comes by to take your picture and you don't have time to straighten that pesky feather sticking out of the back of your head? Well, can't be taking time to look in the mirror when you're burning this much energy all the time.


Iridescent Hummer
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Iridescent Hummer

This guy was pretty suspicious of me. There was really no way for me to easily get much closer to him, but he was not taking any chances. He was tilting his head back and forth trying to size me up, which was actually great since it flashed his beautiful feathers every time he moved.


Anna's Hummingbird
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Anna's Hummingbird

The hummingbirds are quite active around here these days. They seem to like to taunt me any time I'm outside without my camera. I have not had time to chase them down, this guy was from a walk at Seaside Gardens. Hopefully I'll get out with my camera to chase the hummers tomorrow.


Emerald Hummer
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Emerald Hummer

This is my friend from the other day. I thought you might enjoy seeing his beautiful green back. Like I said, I have a few more shots to go through so I'm sure you'll see more of him in the coming photos of the day. This was one of his other favorite perches. I really liked the alternating diagonal lines, but he was usually sitting at an area that was behind another bush. I got lucky this one time when he decided to land further out.

One other interesting thing in the comparison of the two shots is the fact that his head and throat plumage is very directional. If you have never seen one of these guys up close, that is not a trick of the camera. The feathers are amazingly iridescent when he looks right at you. So much so that my computer has trouble dealing with the details in them from the hot color of the feathers. But when he looks away, the same feathers look almost black. I love the details in nature! That is why I can happily spend hours on the same subject and still go back for more.


Seaside Hummer
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Seaside Hummer

We spent the afternoon yesterday wandering around the Seaside Gardens in Carpinteria. It is the best place to get hummer photos, there are enough flowers there to support a bunch of them in a much smaller area than they would normally be comfortable with. This guy was one of my favorite subjects. He had about four or five favorite perches. I followed him from one to the next getting a little closer on each circuit. I started taking photos when I was still far away from him so he would get used to the sound of the shutter. After about five or six trips around his space he got comfortable enough for me to get this shot. I have no idea how long it took seemed like only a few minutes, but there were hundreds of images when I was done.


Iridescent Anna's
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Iridescent Anna's

It was a bit of a gray day today. But there was still enough sunlight to show off this guy's beautiful plumage.


After Dinner Nap
Friday, August 17, 2007
After Dinner Nap

Truth be known it is more of a DURING dinner nap. He was sitting there napping and licking his chops. Then, every so often, he would wake up (almost) then lean over and take a few sips. He let me get very close, but his friend (mom?) was a little excited at one point. I don't think I freaked them out too much though because they came back later in the evening after leaving for a bit to let me clean the feeder and make fresh food. He was watching, because I barely had the feeder back up and he was on it while I was still standing there.

The last time we had a hummer do this he was staking out the back yard to raise a family. I'm not sure it is the right time of year for that, but I'll be watching.


Beak Cleaning
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Beak Cleaning

Hummers seem to like to clean their beaks after they eat. For that matter, my finch seems to like to do that too.


Sunset Dinner Flight
Friday, June 1, 2007
Sunset Dinner Flight

The hummers have gone wild around here lately. We have three feeders up, but it is a little hard to compete with all the flowers. There are actually three birds that fight over this bush regularly. Even though the bush has plenty to go around.


Checking the Nest
Tuesday, August 9, 2005
Checking the Nest

Saturday was the end of "Fiesta" here in Santa Barbara. In theory, Fiesta or Old Spanish Days is a celebration of the founding of the city. Ironically, most of the locals leave town for it. It has kind of devolved over time to just a generally wild party in the streets.

With everyone out of town I was not expecting a huge day at the show. Especially because my normal location was at the opposite end of La Cumbre Plaza under a stage with a bunch of dancers on it. But my first sale made the day worth it.

A little boy stopped with his mom, one of my cards seemed to really catch his eye. After talking to them for a bit, I found out that he liked hummingbirds. So I gave him some pictures to look at that were a little out of his reach. I had not intended to sell him anything, I just love to see kids' reactions to my images. But he fell in love with this image. And, after a small discussion with his mom, he decided to buy it with his allowance.

So in honor of my favorite customer of the week I thought I would find another picture of Mrs. "A" in case he stops by the site.


Isla Vista Hummer
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Isla Vista Hummer

The day I took this I was supposed to be practicing pastels in a class at Island View Nursery in Carpinteria. But once there is a hummingbird around I can't think of doing anything but taking pictures.


Morning Salutation
Monday, January 3, 2005
Morning Salutation

Humming birds are incredible to watch, this guy was sitting in a huge Bougainvillea above my head. They have a habit of making a sound that makes you think they are dive-bombing you but they are usually sitting still when they make that sound. When they call they put their beak in the air and the feathers on their throat stick straight out. This photo was taken just after he had made the call and he was in the middle of a good post-breakfast stretch.