Hummingbirds can be exasperatingly hard to film. There are so many problems that have to be addressed simply to begin shooting. The best way to handle it is to solve one problem at a time until you have all your ducks in a row, as it were.
We have had two hanging baskets of "Wave" petunias on the porch all summer. They get direct summer sun almost all day long, but they were up to the task. Some of the plants we have chosen in the past haven't been. These, however, have just continued to bloom their little hearts out in, well, wave after wave.
I was all set up to film in one location in the yard and, wouldn't you know it, a female came in and started sampling the petunias. The first image was shot from a little too far away, but I have cropped it closer and it is adequate for display on a computer monitor. (Click on the photo to see a larger version.)
The second image was the hanging plant I found at a local nursery on Friday. It may be the best eight bucks I have spent lately. Especially if I can capture a few more images like this one.
One of the problems that cannot be overcome in filming hummingbirds is if they do not come. With only a short break for lunch, I was out on the front lawn yesterday for six hours waiting to ambush a Ruby-throat. For the life of me, I can't figure why they weren't coming, but their visits were extremely limited over what had been taking place even a day earlier.
At one point, I happened to look almost behind me and there was a hummingbird sampling a geranium. I somehow knew it's next stop would be the red trumpet flowers of the Mandevilla pictured above. I readied myself for the shot and, sure enough, it flew in, licked this bloom one time and was gone. I had only one second to get the shot. Six hours of sitting - sometimes in the hot sun - and it all came down to one second. Sounds like a football game, doesn't it? If it was a game, it would have been won in overtime.