Heavenly Hummies

Rufous Hummingbird, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, May 5, 2011/Roy Hancliff, royhancliff.com

Rufous Hummingbird, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, May 5, 2011/Roy Hancliff, royhancliff.com


Is this not the most breathtaking image of a hummingbird you’ve ever seen?

This astonishing photograph of a Rufous Hummingbird in all its sheer, shimmering beauty was taken by nature photographer Roy Hancliff, of Salmon Arm, British Columbia, who specializes in capturing stop-action images of birds in flight, among other things. Hancliff has taken thousands of photographs of hummingbirds, and he thinks this one is his best yet.

Gini’s Nature News (GNN) was originally going to feature this image in a roundup of some of the many amazing sights and sounds of Nature that few people ever get to see or hear. That roundup is coming, but this image couldn’t wait. Thank you to Roy Hancliff for sharing it.

To view more of Hancliff’s beautiful photographs of birds, bees and other wildlife and purchase prints of your favorites, click here. To view his exquisite 66-image Flickr portfolio “Birds in Flight,” click here. To visit his main Flickr photostream page, where this hummingbird image is featured, and learn more about what went into capturing this photograph and others, click here.  Browse all three. You’ll be glad you did.

Hand-Feeding Hummies

Abigail Alfano hand-feeds hummingbirds, Franklinton, LA, Sept 14 2006/Sam Alfano, AbigailSings.com

Abigail Alfano hand-feeds hummingbirds, Franklinton, LA, Sept 14 2006/Sam Alfano, AbigailSings.com

This different kind of amazing hummingbird photo was taken by Sam Alfano, of Franklinton, LA. It’s one of a series he took of his wife, Abigail, hand-feeding hummingbirds in their backyard on September 14, 2006.

To see more of Sam’s photos and learn how Abigail accomplished this delicate feat, click here. And thanks to Annette Pritchard for this Nature News lead.

Hatchling Hummies!

Baby hummies in the nest, Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles, April 2010/Larry Grobel

Baby hummies in the nest, Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles, April 2010/Larry Grobel

This photo of two baby hummingbirds was taken by writer Larry Grobel, who spotted the nest in a low-hanging branch on his property in Nichols Canyon, CA, peered inside, saw “two tiny eggs, a bit bigger than a jellybean,” as he wrote in an email, put a hummingbird feeder nearby for mom’s convenience, and then watched and waited.

The eggs turned to little gray lumps. The lumps didn’t move for days. “I got depressed,” Larry wrote. “I thought: the babies have died…. I should empty the nest…” But he didn’t do it. He couldn’t. “And boy, am I glad. Because a few more days and there were the babies!”

Larry read in Skutch and Singer’s The Life of the Hummingbird that it would be about 16 days before the babies began to fly. Each day, he took pictures and watched them grow. He took his last photo on April 16, “and after they posed, they FLEW away! I saw their first flight. Thrilling.”

Thank you, Larry, for sharing your hummingbird story and photo.

Hummie Cams!

Phoebe, a Channel Island Allen Hummingbird on her nest in Orange County, CA, May 29, 2011/Pungh0li0, USStream Mobile, usstream.tv

Phoebe, a Channel Island Allen Hummingbird on her nest in Orange County, CA, May 29, 2011/Pungh0li0, USStream Mobile, usstream.tv

Thanks to writer Dominique Browning’s May 11, 2011 post “Eagles and Owls and Hummies, Oh My!” on her Slow Love Life blog for leading Nature News to this Hummie Cam site, broadcast through the generosity of Pungh0li0, who has been monitoring this particular Hummie’s nest since 2007. Pungh0lio calls her Phoebe.

To enjoy more Hummie Cam videos, click here, or click the image above or below. To learn more about Pungh0li0, click here.

Channel Island Hummingbird eggs in nest, Orange County, CA, May 29, 2011/Pungh0li0, USStream Mobile, usstream.tv

Channel Island Hummingbird eggs in nest, Orange County, CA, May 29, 2011/Pungh0li0, USStream Mobile, usstream.tv

By the way, Dominique Browning also blogs for another extremely worthy site called Moms Clean Air Force, which is all about fighting for clean air and children’s health. To learn more about this important initiative, click here.

And watch for a GNN roundup of more special sights and sounds from this beautiful natural world of ours coming soon.

Cover image from The Life of the Hummingbird by Alexander F. Skutch, illustrated by Arthur B. Singer (Crown, 1980)/amazon.com


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6 Responses to Heavenly Hummies

  1. Terri says:

    Photo of the hummingbird is exquisite! A world of life in a moment.

    • Darckis says:

      Journey South Hummingbird Migration Update: September 3, 2010. Sep 3, 2010 . This mrtseyy creature is commonly mistaken for a hummingbird. . a house, and even a classroom in Covington, Georgia: . Texas, where there's an annual hummingbird festival in mid-September during peak migration. ..

  2. Wynn Malvern says:

    Gorgeous. Love it! One of best nature sites on entire ‘Net. Keep it up!

  3. Marco Valachi says:

    Gotta say I don’t know the tune, but I’m humming along.

  4. Gay says:

    Just gorgeous, yes! Thanks for sharing it. Your consistent effort sharing so many different aspects of the natural world is so very consoling at this wild and crazy time in our history. On a more person note, I was at a backyard wedding yesterday and low and behold, there were hummingbirds sharing the space with us. They were the humble little gray ones, but still, ever so amazing and elegant. Whenever I see humminbirds, I always think of images I’ve seen of four baby ones sitting in, yes, a teaspoon! Mama Nature, she’s something else!

  5. Annette says:

    Just beautiful. I have a Humming Bird feeder out my window and watch all the time. Thank you.

    Annette

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