Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I feel like choosing a happy, light topic tonight. When I thought about something that makes me truly happy, I immediately thought of hummingbirds! That’s right, zooming, spinning, hovering hummingbirds:-) These little jewels have always been a joyful sight to me; and this year, they’ve truly become part of my heart.

This year, I finally decided to learn to photograph them. I figured if I could catch a hummingbird with my lens, I would be better prepared for just about anything else that moves, lol! I swear, even after multiple sessions, and more photos than I can count, I still get dizzy trying to track these little speedsters.

Hummingbirds are just so amazing! Full-speed forward, now backwards, up, down, all around – let me tell you, you get a lot of photos of empty blue sky as you try to catch them. Or part of a wing, as the bird zooms out of range… They are truly breath-taking.

Here in central California, the hummingbirds I saw this year were either Rufous or Anna’s. Anna’s have made up the majority, and are still coming to the one feeder I’ve left up. I’ve read that they can stay year-round, but it’s getting chillier at night here, so we’ll see. I’ll be happy to keep that feeder filled:-)

What Hummingbirds mean:

Several years ago, I discovered a really cool site about Animal Shamanism. It guides you as to what animals mean in your life. The animal can be a lifetime animal, or one that appears for a certain time with a needed message. You can check it out here Shamanism Working with Animal Spirits It’s a really cool site, and just one more way of seeing things.

So, three of the things that hummingbirds represent are joy, love, and endurance over long journeys (makes sense;-). Maybe that’s why they touch me so. They certainly fill me with joy – even when they’re being feisty and territorial with each other.

Hummingbirds live life with exuberance! They are so tiny, and yet so powerful. And, hey, they eat sugar water and nectar. Life can’t get much sweeter than that:-)

All photos taken with my Canon Digital Rebel XT, and either a regular Canon 75-300mm lens or 55-250mm IS lens (the 75-300mm is for sale, if anyone’s interested:-).

All of these photos are available at our Etsy store Nature Visions


kayowe said...

I just discovered your BLOG today...great shots, esp. the hummingbirds. Did you ever find out about the deformed ones. Was it the red dye or some other malady? I have a few photos of hummers w/ what also seem to be deformed beaks. I haven't used red dye for ages, but I think the neighbors do. (I'm in Southern California.)

Thanks for sharing the photos.

Erica Lea said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, kayowe. Sadly, I've continued to see deformed beaks on a regular basis. In fact, the last time I took lots of photos, I didn't realize till I was going through them that I had one who had pink raised skin all around his eye:-(

This area is such a heavily sprayed area, because of all the agriculture (seriously, the air can reek from the smell of chemicals). So, is it that? Is it red dye? I don't know. I've tried searching, and did find some info telling how bad red dye can be, but that's all I've found out so far.

I'll have to look into the Audubon Society - maybe they'd know...

Bliss Soybean Candles said...

I absolutely love hummingbirds and your shots are incredible! I keep hearing about the Canon Rebel. My first "real" camera is the Nikon D40 that I got with my Jeep and I'm still trying to manage that :) Beautiful work...and great blog!