Hummers on the Wing

HummerFlyingMost images are the Hummingbird flying to the pear tree, (no flash and hand-held), in the late afternoon.

Lately I have been trying to get photos of smaller birds and insects on the wing. Now for hummingbirds. Last post I tried butterflies bobbing and weaving. Did it help with hummingbirds?

A little I guess. It is not hard when the birds are bigger than a quarter, or insects fly in a straight line. This was just an exercise to improve skills and try exposure to balance out the speed of the hummers in low light conditions. Plus we had a snit-fit from our little hummer, see why…

HummerInFlight-5Little late afternoon golden glow…

Like the post on butterflies in flight, hummingbirds that are feeding (Photographing a Hummingbird in Flight – Useful Tips) are easier to capture than when just buzzing around the garden in free flight. I jacked up the ISO to get as much light on the tiny fast-moving subjects as I could, but trying to pan with flyers proved very challenging.

HummerFlying-2f5.6 1/800 sec ISO 1250 – Same settings as other two dark images, this is my favorite photo of the group of free flyers. I like the background as it makes the hummer stand out.

None of the images I am particularly happy with like those in previous posts, but with practice the free flyers will get better. I am not too fond of my photos at the feeder or tree sitting because they are a bit too commonplace.


See, a bit ordinary and boring. They also show the feeder which really is not generally too artistic.


The poses can be interesting, but the feeder is always not.


On its way to the feeder….

HummerInFlight-3f5.6 1/1000 sec ISO 1250 – Same settings as all against the sky and on the way to the tree.


I named this hummingbird Haddie. Haddie is a friendly and very tiny hummer that will buzz around with me in the yard making taking photos a bit easier. She is very territorial and has run off quite a few other hummers.


Today she had a hummer fit. She flew into the garden looking for the feeders I was just bringing out from a cleaning and refill. You would think this was the end of her world. She looked like one of those cartoon characters frantically buzzing all around with the alternating look of disgust, bewilderment and surprise on her face.  Eyes bulged and head was thrust forward. You know the look!


Well, I think she was a little peeved too since she did not come back all morning.


I saw her fly to the top of the tree after I set the feeders in place, give me the look and take her leave. She was back later, but snubbed the feeders.


I think she had a point to prove.


Like “It must be there when I want it.”


I have many photos of her sitting in the tree, ahem…cough, cough, boring. My post Hummingbird Closeups with a Nikon P510 showed many images of hummingbirds sitting in a tree. That post had more colorful hummers than Haddie.

My goal with this exercise was to get a little more action. Actually the peak of action is number two on making a good photo. Number one is getting a well focused subject. Some pro said this.

Best to have both, but I often settle for one, like sitting in a tree. Until I get more proficient on the shots away from where they feed, it looks like tree, Monarda and feeder shots for now.

Next flying post is the big birds of the marsh lands. I visited three bird preserves you will see an Osprey nest and the parents on the way to the hunt. I will have the post to complete the Amherst garden in the post, A Garden to Make You Say Wow, after this one.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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34 Responses to Hummers on the Wing

  1. Jenny says:

    I for one think your photos are marvelous. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Mona says:

    Great shots……….. Well Done.

  3. Hummer tantrums? Whatever next? I enjoyed this post – I like the way you talk us through your photography; it’s very enlightening. Thank you!

  4. Wonderful post 🙂

    Love our Hummers too 🙂

    I will try to capture them with a friends camera see if they are any better 🙂 no submarine lens or macro for that matter but interesting 🙂
    Have a great week!

  5. Vannasa Chomsiri says:

    Very beautiful

  6. Hope says:

    I’m jealous. 🙂

  7. Well, Haddie is a little character, isn’t she? I think the photos are amazing. I’d be happy to be able to capture one of these littles in a boring tree sitting photo. Great job! Handheld? Oh, my.

  8. Pat says:

    Great captures of these little gems. The hummingbirds have been scarce around here this summer and I’m lucky if I can get any shots at all.

  9. acuriousgal says:

    Love these images, all great shots!!!

  10. Haddie is gorgeous! So, you are good friends now?!!!
    🙂 Have a great new week my dear! xx

  11. Gorgeous!!! (especially #3)

  12. You’re always challenging yourself, aren’t you. Hummers are such challenging subjects in the best of conditions. Getting a good photo of one (or more) in flight is an accomplishment.

  13. viktoracrux says:

    So BEAUTIFUL! I adore those shots!

  14. You have captured some amazing hummingbird photos.

  15. Denise says:

    Wow, amazing! But I like the photographs of her sitting in a tree, in your earlier post, just as much. Not boring at all.

  16. Im in love with Hummers Im gutted we dont have them in the UK, love your stunning photos and Im laughing outloud at the Hummer paddy sooo cute and adorable, yes birds do have tantrums and have 3 parrots indoors to prove it. I would love to have seen her paddy expressions lol.
    Great post as always. x

  17. ps Haddies is so beautiful what great colourations. Plus its not often Ive seen hummingbird piks of them sitting in trees, gorgeous piks x.

  18. Patrick says:

    Love the hummers and good on ya (Aussie roots showing through) for trying difficult subjects. Love the spots of blue light in the background of top images. And who could resist a hummingbird visiting a monarda?

  19. If you think she’s going to stand for this kind of treatment, you’ve got another thing coming! She can always go to another feeder, there are dozens, hundreds of feeders that would be thrilled to have her feed there, and without this kind of callous neglect. Oh, by the way, FANTASTIC photographs.

  20. londarmonica says:

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful images!

  21. catmint says:

    you know, Donna, sometimes I wonder whether you have magical hypnotic powers to compel these creatures to do your bidding … only joking … amazingly wonderful and wondrous photos.

  22. bittster says:

    I didn’t think there was anything even close to boredom in your photos, what a great job! Some day I hope to get away from the automatic settings on my camera, lol, maybe this winter I can try and figure it out. I don’t know how you find the time for all you do! you must be going from dawn to dusk and then some.

  23. Brian Comeau says:

    Great images Donna. The ones in flight are very challenging – well done to capture them

  24. Skeeter says:

    Soon as I saw your first photo, I knew I was in for a treat today! Your photography is just amazing…

  25. Hummers really have such character! I have too many in my garden to name because I can’t tell them all apart other than that they are female, male or juvenile. Your shots are great…better than anything I have been able to capture. I still feel a bit of success if I get them sitting since mine don’t do that often, albeit a more common shot. I will try some of your tips and see if I have better success.

  26. Wow, loved every image!

  27. Stephi says:

    Amazing photos. Always a good day when the hummingbirds are around.

  28. Wow…great photos of the hummers! I just saw my third hummer in about thirty years buzz right by me the other day..but way too quickly to possibly get a photo. I love them-such amazing creatures!

  29. We moved the one feeder and put up another and I have been exploring taking pictures of hummers too but none as wonderful as these on the wing.

  30. sharonftaylor says:

    especially liked the one that exposed the dragonfly colors on her back! You must have so much fun!

  31. AMAZEBalls – Loving your captures:)

  32. Fergiemoto says:

    Beautiful hummingbird photos! I just love these little jewels.

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