Saturday, September 03, 2011

September Comes to the Dykeman Wetlands, Pt.1 - Hummingbirds!

[Note: When I first posted this a week ago I made a mistake; I stated that Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were different from other birds in that it's the female who's more colorful while the male is more drab. I was wrong about that; it's the male who has that gorgeous red throat. It's Belted Kingfishers who defy the rule; the female has both the black collar and russet vest while the male only has the black collar. I had been chasing some Kingfishers - unsuccessfully, as usual - that day, so the two species' specifics got mixed up in my head. I've edited this post to fit the facts. Sorry about that, chief!]

I'm off today, and the weather is overcast and humid, which can lead to some great lighting for photography. So I walked down to the Dykeman Wetlands Park and Walking Trail to take advantage of the light. I got some great macro shots of the encroaching Autumn wildflowers, which I'll show you tomorrow. But the real treat today was the crowd of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds hanging out in the swamp meadow just below the duck ponds.

This section of the swamp is full of Jewelweed and Moth Mullein, flowers that Hummingbirds just love to sip from. They were flitting around from plant to plant, sometimes chasing each other in play, and occasionally sitting still on a cattail stem to give me a chance to get a portrait. It took my telephoto and manual focus to get the shots, and out of the 30 or so shots of the birds I got, these two pass quality control.

This is a female, sitting among the cattail leaves.

And here's a male in all his Ruby-throated glory!

Stay tuned tomorrow or at least in the next couple of days for wildflower portrait macros. I got some good ones today; the flora are very diverse around here!

© 2011 by A. Roy Hilbinger


  1. Great shots! Interesting about the plumage on male & female hummingbirds--one does always associate male birds with the more striking coloration.

  2. pass quality control? :) Wow...I think those are's hard to get them still like that, isn't it? Really love these...

    I hear next week will be much cooler...can't wait!

  3. Oh my gosh, Roy! These are wonderful. I love these little birds and have been watching and studying those that come to our feeders (and those along the Little Miami when I'm there). I'm ticking off the days until they leave (boo!). The pull of winter gets closer....

  4. incredible bird portraits!!

    i love hummingbirds, next year i must try to lure them to my yard!!! they are in the area......