I believe the tiny little hummingbirds I get every summer are truly little jewels of the desert. Their iridescent colors just shine like the most precious stones when the light hits them just right.
July and August are my peak months for hummingbirds. In spring I get the Broad-Tailed and Black-Chinned Hummingbirds. They nest here every year. But starting early July, I get the migratory Rufous and Calliope Hummingbirds. It’s a wonderful time of year having all four variety of hummingbirds visiting my feeders. I have 3 feeders that hold 2 cups of sugar water each. During July and August I have to fill these feeders twice a day!
These little birds are very fast. Catching them in flight is a real challenge. I got a couple of decent shots in flight but I definitely need to improve on this technique.
Some years it seems the birds are more brave than others. This year they were a little more hesitant to let me photograph them. I did manage to get a few nice shots. Of the 4 species, the most bullying to other hummers and yet the most shy around people is the Rufous Hummingbird. He’s the most challenging to get a decent photo.
The most challenging to get colors to show is the Black-Chinned Hummingbird. They have to turn just right in the light to catch that gorgeous purple throat. After many, many attempts, this is the only photo I got recently that shows the color. Sadly it’s not a very good pic. But I will keep trying!
The most common visitor to my feeders is the Broad-Tailed Hummingbird. Over the years I’ve only managed to find a couple of nests though I see plenty of females out there busily gathering nesting materials. And come summer there are lots of young hummers at the feeders.
But my most favorite hummer is the Calliope Hummingbird. I love their unique feathers on their throat. When fending off other hummers from the feeder, they can flare out those long pink feathers. Just beautiful! They are considerably smaller than the other 3 species I get. They are the smallest breeding hummingbird in the US. While the other species are generally 3 inches in length, this little guy is around 2.5 inches. They have to really stretch their necks to sit and feed on my feeders.
So I think you will agree, hummingbirds are definitely little jewels of the desert!
17 thoughts on “Jewels of the Desert”
Thank you so much Sherry!
Great photos! That last one is a showstopper!
Thank you so much Vickbird! That photo was my favorite too! 😊
Well, I’m amazed-those little guys can be really difficult to photograph, but you got some excellent ones!
Thank you so much Joe!!!
Simply amazing shots of amazing birds. So tiny and so beautiful Kelly, thanks for sharing them, we do not have these birds, so it is a treat to see them.
Thank you Aussiebirder! Btw…what’s your first name?
Hi Ashley 😊
Great shots – I know how hard it can be to capture these in a photo! We tend to only get the Ruby-throated round these parts, and they have been a little scarce so far this year.
Thank you Kathy! They are a challenge but so beautiful you can’t resist trying 😊 we are pretty lucky to have 4 variety here even if it’s just for a short while.
Wow! Fantastic shots! It’s very difficult to take sharp pisc while flying. I could watch these little jewels all day and take pictures! Unbelievable colors! *****
Thank you so much! I work from home and watch these guys all day. It takes discipline not to grab my camera 😉
Gorgeous! The portrait of the Calliope Hummingbird is particularly amazing. 🙂
Thank you so much Myriam! I was pleased with that one too! 😁