Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bird on a Wire

I don't mind the Hummingbirds landing on the rope — although I would prefer they land on the branch I put out there for them. They do so much twitchy stuff when they land like this. They have weak feet and actually use their wings to launch themselves whereas other birds will spring into the air a bit before flying. For example, I saw one turn around and face the other direction the other day. To do that, it took off straight up like a helicopter, turned around very carefully in the air and settled back down. That is the outside spotlight in the background in case you are trying to figure what you are looking at.

I took this photograph at 1/320 second exposure which is fast enough for the bird on the rope which is hardly moving. That semi-circular streak just behind it, however, was another Hummingbird moving so fast that all I caught was a blur.

It is easy to catch them in very odd poses because they get so twitchy, as I said before. This one was just getting it's wing folded back in from a stretch. I tend to think of their bill as a tube, but as you will see in a moment it really isn't. They part it slightly and slide their long tongue out the end to sip nectar. That is it's tongue sticking out the end a bit.

Here, it looks like it is checking out the polish job on it's nails. In actuality, it was juking all around preening and scratching.

This is a good photograph for showing that it does have a regular, if somewhat long, bill. Cleaning feathers on it's tail is a piece of cake. Cleaning the ones on it's neck is another matter.

If you look closely, you will see that she has her bill wrapped around her little toe. Birds such as Great Blue Herons or the Mute Swan drive me crazy with their preening because they can spend hours doing nothing else. I don't mind Ruby-throated Hummingbirds preening because their lives are so sped up, they can concentrate it all down into a minute or two and they are just crazy to watch.

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