Back in January 2010, “Nature”, that marvelous show that airs on your local PBS station premiered “Hummingbirds: Magic In The Air”. For anyone who loves birds this particular episode was an absolute joy to watch. Besides all the different species found all over the world and the science behind the evolution of the hummingbirds, what I enjoyed the most was the the slow motion video of the birds. It was the kind of photography that would make any amateur photographer envious. But there was this one particular segment during the show that intrigued me the most. It was a laboratory setting where they had some hummingbirds confined in a enclosed setting with slow motion video recording them as they consumed very small, gnat type of insects. And as they filmed them you could see as they opened their beak and ate the insect in super slow motion. It was impressive video because we who love hummingbirds either as a bird watcher or not probably have never seen this behavior before. We normally see them as they buzz us while we’re out in the field. or as they sit perched. I’m sure the majority of us have watched as they feed on flowers or feeders we’ve hung up, never eat a bug considering how fast they move.
Well a few days ago while I was sitting on my front porch, with my camera, a hummingbird shows up by one of my hanging baskets on my front porch.
So I raise my camera and get focused in on the bird and fire off several shots in succession in an attempt to freeze the bird and it’s wing beats. Later when I’m downloading the pictures onto my computer for some post-processing I see this picture.
The same behavior I saw the hummingbirds on “Nature” as they went for the gnats, just happened before my own camera. And if you look real close between the hanging basket and the birds open mouth you’ll see the very small insect it’s going for. What a very cool picture!