Tag Archives: Hummingbirds

~Safe Travels Little Ones

~Loveland, CO, October 6, 2017

Wednesday was the last time we saw the two Hummingbirds that have been with us for a long time. Drinking coffee yesterday morning we commented that “they must be gone”. During the day we kept watching for them, and when we didn’t see them again this morning we knew they must have begun their long journey south. I am glad, but sad.

I truly miss seeing them! They provided us with lots of entertainment this season.

_MG_9600
Black-chinned (male)

This photo was taken back in April at South Llano River State Park.

“Travel safe, and I truly hope you make it to your destination.”

 

~Fun at home yesterday with my camera!

~Loveland, Colorado, August, 2017

During the last few days, some hummingbirds have found their way back to our yard. I made a batch of Hummingbird syrup (4 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar) and hung the feeder. Didn’t take long for them to start their display fights over this source of food.

This behavior of fighting over the feeder is fun to watch and provides great opportunities for photos; however it is also bewildering to me. Why do they spend so much of their energy chasing each other away when all they have to do is share?

~Rufous-Hummingbird (female)

Rufous-Hummingbird
She likes to sit in the Apple tree. Here she prefers a small dead branch.

~Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (female)
“This is my feeder. Got it!”

Always looking for in-coming rivals!

_MG_0368

Enjoying some syrup without being harassed by bees!

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (female)

The elusive male. I will capture a better photo of you, I promise. I wasn’t fast enough to focus on him. He seems to hide on the far side of the feeder, zips in to take a few sips then zips away. He never lights on a tree branch in the yard. Just wanted to show you – he is here.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (male)

_MG_0393

~Western Swallowtail Butterfly

I put a little syrup in the top of the Hummingbird feeder to try and keep the Wasps and Yellow Jackets from drinking from the holes below. They harass the Hummers and were harassing this beautiful Swallowtail. It appears, from the photo below, that they are trying to sting the butterfly. Dam them!

I haven’t seen a butterfly drink from a Hummer feeder before.

Western Swallowtail

Not a real sharp shot, but it is interesting.  It decided to move down to drink from the holes, perhaps trying to get away from the bees. Notice how it is holding on to the feeder.

_MG_0358

Notice the bee below the Swallowtail.

_MG_0355

Something strange was happening over night. I put syrup in the feeder early each morning and the next morning it would be ALL gone. Not a drop left. I have the feeder hanging on a medal rod, which is suspended many feet off the ground. There is no way that it can be reached from the ground.

At first we thought Raccoons were somehow getting to the feeder from out deck, but since nothing else is disturbed and all the liquid is gone we now think it might be bats drinking from the feeder. That would be cool to see. We now take the feeder down every night.

~Western Cottontail

This photo speaks, peace, to me…

_MG_0386
This little guy was sitting on a boulder in our yard looking out over Loveland.

The last couple of years have been good to the rabbits in our area. I think their natural predators, because of increased building in the surrounding areas, have moved out. We use to see coyotes and fox passing through, but haven’t in awhile. However, we do have black bear and bob cats, which causes us to put the garbage can in the garage each night. Maybe they don’t like rabbit!

Header photo: Enjoying a moment at dusk.

A fun few hours taking photos in my yard. I hope you enjoyed them.

 

 

~A few minutes spent doing what I love most!

It has been awhile since I last posted. Where does the time go? It seems as if we just arrived home from our winter travels and here we are in September. Time to once again begin thinking about heading south.

Before we head south we still have a few more weeks of beautiful, Colorado, weather to enjoy. This summer has been a fun one with the exception of Kloudy’s illness; however, she is doing okay. I plan to write a post on what is going on with her, and she has given me permission to post a few photos. As most of you know, that follow my blog, Kloudy is our almost eleven year old Siberian Husky.

Of course spending time with hubby, Kloudy and Skye River is my most joyful pastime. Doing what I love hobby wise is taking photos. It is hard for me to believe that I haven’t taken very many photos this summer, which truly is my greatest passion.

I think Pickleball, well I know Pickleball, has taken all my time. Since learning the game in late April, I have either play or practiced this sport almost everyday. It is fun and as I have mentioned previously, addicting. Pickleball is great exercise, but the most wonderful benefit of the game is meeting and getting to know other players, which I hope turns into long-lasting friendships.

But, this post is not about Pickleball, it is about spending a few minutes taking photos of a few birds in my yard. Howard and I enjoy sitting on our deck and watching the bird activity in the yard. It has been a very good year for many species, especially the Spotted Towhee. I don’t recall seeing so many young Towhees. The Towhee is one of my favorite birds and it makes me very happy to see that they are doing well. Two new visitors to our yard, in recent weeks, has been the Red-breasted Nuthatch and the Gray Catbird (just one).

Two Red-breasted Nuthatches stopped by for a few days and enjoyed, not only the sunflower seeds, but the suet feeders as well.

Red-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch

Not the best quality photos, but it gives you an idea just how cute these little birds are. I generally don’t like to post photos of the birds at the feeder, but they were just too darn quick for me to capture in a more natural environment. They would fly in, grab a sunflower seed, and fly off.

Another bird we are enjoying watching is the Hummingbird. Feisty little birds that don’t believe in sharing. They sit at the top of a branch or tree and continuously scan the sky for incoming – Hummers! Nope, no sharing of the tasty, sugary liquid they love so much.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (male)
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (male)
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (female)
Broad-tailed Hummingbird.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (female)
Broad-tailed Hummingbird.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (female)
Broad-tailed Hummingbird.
Black-chinned Hummingbird (male)
Black-chinned Hummingbird (male). Too bad the light was dull.
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Black-chinned Hummingbird

One day I was standing out on the deck with, my long lens, trying to capture one of the Hummers. A Hummer decided to check me out and then checked out the entire length of the lens. Too comical and so close. If only I had a photo of that experience!

Until next time, spend time doing what you love to do!

SBS : ~Broad-tailed Hummingbird ~

Sheila’s Bird Shots: ~ Broad-tailed Hummingbird ~

"I wish this itch would go away"
“I wish this itch would go away”

In my garage I have several Hummingbird feeders hanging on pegs collecting dust. Several, because every time I visit a hardware store, I mossy over and look at the feeders and there is usually a cute one just asking me to take it home. I blame Howard the hubby, because he likes to go to hardware stores. If I was being honest, so do I. In fact I love going to hardware stores.

 

Well, just maybe this one will help keep the bees and wasps away, I tell myself. So one comes home with me and after a few tries it goes on the peg next to a couple more. I just hate seeing the bees chasing the Hummingbirds away. I don’t worry too much, because throughout this spring and summer we have had several Hummers hanging out in the yard enjoying the flowers I planted just for them.

 

Howard, said one day “Why don’t you hang up some of your feeders for them?” Oh jeez “here we go again.”

 

Back in the early part of spring, at the time I brought an Oriole feeder, I also bought the very best Hummer feeding mix on the market; however, I won’t mention the name. So I got out my feeders, washed them really well, filled them using this mix and hung two feeders up, one in the front yard and one in the back. Gotta keep the hubby happy!

 

Guess what? The Hummers would take one sip and fly away not to return to the feeder. The bees, wasps and the House Finches loved my attempt at feeding the tiny guys. I have never seen the House Finches enjoying the Hummer feeder as I have this year. I know the importance of the honey bees and don’t want to cause any harm to them, but I just wish they would leave the Hummers alone while they are trying to eat.

 

One afternoon last week, around happy hour, hubby and I were sitting out on the deck watching one of the ignored, cute hummer feeders I had filled with pretty red liquid. Howard says “I don’t think they like that stuff. Why don’t you try mixing your own food for them? Okay, I say. I can see that they just don’t like the pretty red liquid in my cute little feeder.  

 

Last Sunday I mixed up a batch using the recommended blend of one cup of water to four teaspoons of sugar. I filled the two feeders with my blah, white blend and we waited to see how the Hummingbirds would react to my new offering. Almost immediately we had several female Broad-tailed Hummers declare their claim to these feeders. Yeah! Finally!

 

These females have been busy scouting, eating, fighting and resting. They are so much fun to watch. Just wondering how much longer, this season, they will be around.

 

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (female)
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (female)

bird on a wire

such a tiny life full of fire

female without doubt

During this past week I was able to capture a few images of a Hummer as she sat on one of Howard’s Amateur Ham Radio antennas. They seem to love perching there, I believe, because it is high and the perfect scouting post.

 

After taking a few photos the other day and now looking at their facial expressions it is amusing and makes me wonder, what are they thinking. I wonder if a female Hummer could talk what would she say?

 

I caught her as she was flying away. I was playing around with the colors of the background.
I caught her as she was flying away. I was playing around with the colors of the background.

Day Trip to Rocky…..

Small but vigilant scout
Small but vigilant scout

     Early Monday morning a friend and I left Loveland and headed to Rocky Mountain National Park. It is a short drive of about twenty miles and I always take the scenic route through the town of Glen Haven. It is a gorgeous drive.

     Traveling though the Big Thompson Canyon is always a special event, with its tall, jagged, cliffs jetting into the sky above you and the flowing waters of the Big Thompson River running below you. 

     Most times, driving this canyon, one will get a glimpse of a few Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep grazing on the sides of these steep, stone walls, but on this trip we did not spot any.

     As you drive through the canyon there are many places to pull off the road and enjoy the scenery and the smoothing sounds of the rapidly flowing river, especially this time of year with the spring snow melt raging downstream.

      It is relaxing to stand by the river, close your eyes and listen to the sound of the water as it searches it way over, around and even under boulders that are in its path as it traverses down the canyon.

      Fly fishers (men and women) {Smile} come to the waters of the Big Thompson from all over the world to cast their lines hoping to snag a Rainbow Trout. It seems so memorizing observing a person out in the middle of a stream, dressed in waders and all their waterproof clothing, casting their long lines back and forth, back and forth. I will have to try to photograph a fly fisher person.

     As we left the canyon having traveled through the little mountain town of Glen Haven we  crested the last hill and descended into the valley toward Estes Park. The Rocky Mountains, with their snow covered peaks, are what you see first. As your eyes adjust to seeing these magnificent mountains you can then and only then take in the beauty of the valley as it stretches out in front of you.

     Mountain Blue Birds call this area home in the spring and summer and you will usually see them sitting on a fence post or flying up to catch a bug. I did not get to take a photo of one, but next time….

     This year we had two late-spring snow storms that took a told on the Mountain Blue Bird population as they were migrating through the area. People were reporting large numbers of dead birds in their yards. One lady had twelve. My husband and I found two in our yard.

     Leaving the valley, heading to the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, we had to make an immediate u-turn. We had spotted a huge, bull Elk along the side of the road and decided he would definitely be worth a photo or two. One can imagine, or maybe not, spending the winter at or near 12,000 feet. This poor guy was looking exactly like he had experienced a harsh winter – a little ragged with tuffs of fur hanging in clumps off his body; however he still was wearing his beautiful felt-covered antlers. He was having a mid-morning snack at a backyard bird feeder. Good for him.

     We finally entered the park. As we drove and hiked around experiencing the serenity and wonder of this national park, as on this day and with every visit, it did not fail to bring joy to my soul and deep appreciation for the beauty of nature.

     The highlight for me, this visit, were the two dueling male Broad-tailed Hummingbirds defending their territory. Each surveying their world from the high perch of their own pine tree. High into the air they would fly, soaring downward and then back up just as you think they are going to crash into the ground. Who is the bravest?

     We drove the twenty miles back home with wonderful memories and meaningful impressions of a successful and fun day visiting Rocky Mountain National Park.