Category Archives: Birds

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Back Yard

We feed the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in our back yard and I’ve tried off and on this summer with limited success to capture good images. Hurricane Dorian stripped a lot of leaves from the Crepe Myrtle trees which gave me a new opportunity.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

At the feeder the light was just right to see what I think is the start of the ruby-throat on a juvenile.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

This may be the same bird; he was at a different angle so the throat iridescence didn’t show. They fly so fast and three or four were chasing each other making it impossible to keep track.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Kingfisher DIve

This is the first Belted Kingfisher I have seen since last fall and he gave me an amazing, if brief, aerial show.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

When I first spotted him he was hovering over a small pond. Before I could lift my camera he was gone.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

He came back a couple minutes later and I got a second opportunity.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

He hovered for several seconds.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Assumed the dive position

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

And dove. I never saw him hit the water, actually never saw him again, despite waiting another 15 minutes.

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Powdery Alligator-flag

This is a long named bird and long named plant! The Powdery Alligator-flag doesn’t look like it would have much to feed a Hummingbird but this one spent several minutes investigating this single stalk.

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

After circling a few times she perched for a short rest.

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

I was able to move to a slightly closer spot, then a cloud covered the sun. And as is the way with Hummingbirds, zip and she was gone.

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird In a Sunflower

I first noticed this Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird when she flew through my shot of these ornamental sunflowers. I was surprised that there was nectar in a flower head like this to attract a hummingbird.

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

This is a view of the back side of a nearby sunflower in the same garden. This variety has multiple seed heads on the same stem.

Sunflower
Sunflower

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker All In

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are named for their behavior of drilling small  holes in trees then drinking the sap that runs into the wells. They get most of their food that way but also feed on insects they find under tree bark.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

I’ve seen them peck at bark, mostly on the rough-barked trees and was surprised to see this one bobbing into a tree cavity. He was just about disappearing from my view as he reached in.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

I didn’t see what, if anything, the Sapsucker was finding, but he kept at it for longer than I watched.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Camoflage

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers visually blend into the surface of the rough-barked trees. These two images were taken in different places over a month apart.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

I heard the tat-tat-tat of pecking at the bark first, then watched for the flash of red to help me spot them. Sapsuckers tend to spiral around the tree looking for food, sometimes at a pretty fast pace leaving the photographer to guess where they will pop back around.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Red-bellied Woodpecker Still Trying

The Red-bellied Woodpecker didn’t give up with his Magnolia Seed Berry.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

There must be a spot in this thick barked tree to lodge this berry!

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Even when he found a spot he wasn’t satisfied, and this time he may have lost it for good.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

The ground was covered with these Magnolia berries so he could easily try with another.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker

This is the third and final post in this series.

See the first post here: Red-bellied Woodpecker With Magnolia Seed Berry

See the second post here: Red-bellied Woodpecker Keeps Trying