Art of the Day: Hummingbird Tongue

It’s really hard to shoot hummingbirds. For one thing, they just don’t hold still. For another, they’re really not predictable like other birds are. When shooting a big, slow, brown pelican, you’ve got a pretty good idea where they’re going to go. Not so with hummingbirds. They hover, dart left or right – up or down.

All of the other birds in flight that you see on this site, I do handheld…tracking them through the sky. And I am moderately adept at that. But with this particular hummingbird, I employed a different technique. I shot this one across the street at my neighbor’s house. She had several hummingbirds darting onto and away from her feeder. I watched them for a while and noticed that they’d eat a bit, back out and hover, then eat some more. So I set my focus on where I thought the hover was happening – and then shot as they entered that zone. Some of the shots turned out and this one turned out to be my favorite – because of the tongue. So neat looking. I think this one is a female calliope hummingbird.

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