Tim Melling – Rufous Hummingbird

Tim writes: Rufous Hummingbirds are a western North American bird and breed further north than any other species of Hummingbird.  This one is a male showing off his iridescent throat which is created by interference colours not pigment (like rainbows or oil in a puddle).  I photographed him very early morning in a dark forest with just a few Blueberry flowers to keep him fed.  This was taken near Cordova in Alaska.

Taken with Nikon D500 Nikkor 300mm f4 with 1.4x converter (420mm) set at f5.6  1/640   ISO 5000


Mark writes: these tiny birds beat their wings at around 50 times/sec; and their hearts beat at 20 beats/sec.  Their energy requirements are huge, and they feed on high-octane food; nectar.  Hummingbirds consume their body weight in nectar every hour and are refuelling all day.

Imagine then, how they migrate from Alaska to Mexico and back every year – from flower to flower the length of the west coast of North America!  Artificial feeders are helping these birds to migrate and actually altering their routes and destinations.

Read more about hummingbirds in Remarkable Birds.

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