Along the Natchez Trace

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Black-chinned Hummingbird

We're located about 50 miles southwest of Ft Worth, Texas.  There are a lot of different birds here but there aren't a lot of different kinds of hummingbirds.  According to the field guides, we might possibly see the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, or maybe the occasional Rufus, but the most prevalent hummer we'll see is the Black-chinned Hummingbird.

Our daughter has several feeders along her wrap-around porch and there are days she has to fill the feeders each morning.  Our motorhome is parked about 100' from her house...  we have 2 feeders up.  
Male Black-chinned Hummingbird

The male Black-chinned hummingbird is metallic green above, and, if the light is right, you'll see a violet band just below his black throat.  Iridescent colors in birds aren't created by pigments but are produced by minute particles in the feathers and the reflection of different light wavelengths.  I've been shooting hundreds of photos trying to capture the beautiful violet color of the male's neckband, but haven't been very successful.   The light has to be "just right"...  and I have to get my timing exact.  I feel kind of like I do when we're at the beach and I'm trying to get a photo of the "green flash".... love the challenge and just know someday I'll succeed. 

The Female Black-chinned Hummingbird
Like many species, the female is pretty nondescript.  

 The males are quite territorial and  guard "their" feeders...  If another hummer approaches...
Instant Attack!

The males will have their favorite spot to perch and watch the feeder and dive-bomb any encroachers.    Doesn't keep other birds away...  just makes the aerial maneuvers interesting to watch.  Most hummingbird feeders have several perches...  makes a person wish they could explain to that little bully if he was willing to share, they could all have a nice drink.

No wonder people used to believe there were fairies in the garden....
If I saw this hovering above a hollyhock or trumpet creeper, I'd be likely to believe in fairies too!

That's All For Today!


  1. I don't not believe in fairies... and no matter what the color ... hummingbirds are just the bomb.

    gotta get me a feeder or two put up. got to do lots of stuff. one more cup of coffee

    You going to go on to Sweetwater? The have the rattlesnake roundup ... big doins ... never been but worked with Miss Rattlesnake Roundup ... back in the 70s. haaa... cracked me up. Miss Rattlesnake Roundup HAhaaa... she was cute.. well, we all were back then

    Weatherford is where Mary Martin was born ... think they have some this or that commemorating such as well as her good ol son Larry Hagman

    But then I'm sure your daughter as well as you both know plenty of places to play in that area.

    Happy Independence Day!

  2. I do love the hummingbirds! WOW...what great pictures you captured.

    Have a great 4th!

  3. My neighbor has a huge humming bird feeder and lots of those birds come visits his. We used to feed all the birds but haven't for awhile. Guess I will have to start again, especially with this drought going on.

  4. Your photos are magnificent. I know how many it takes to get a good one. How fortunate to have a delete function these days, instead of a roll of mostly blurry shots--and two good ones.

  5. Nice action shot with the attack scene! I'm still working on my quest for the best hummingbird shot. :)

  6. Gorgeous hummingbird pictures. I have never gotten anything even close to the shots you have. Thanks for the pics.

  7. Just beautiful. Love those little bullies!!

  8. I can't believe you got all those shots of the speedy little demons!

  9. Those birds are fast - great pics!

  10. butterbean carpenterJuly 5, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    We have 2 feeders up and Joyce fills them every day and sometimes twice a day... I look out there and it seems as if there is a swarm of bees...
    We're out in the middle of nowhere, between Abilene, Brownwood and San Angelo, so it's a fur piece to a store, even Coleman.. Joyce ran out of 'sugar-water' , for the birds yesterday and they would fly up to the window and 'cuss' her out, until she finally tore open some sugar packets and fixed their water.... As for the 'bullying', we have ONE, who won't let the others drink, as long as he is thirsty.. Makes Joyce so mad she wants the cats to get him!!!! I know where 50 miles SW of Foat Wurth is and it's as dry there as we are out here in Coleman county... My gran-folks were pioneers of Granbury !!! Got run out of Parker county by the Comanches & Kiowas...

  11. I do believe in fairies, I do believe in fairies, I do, I do, I do! Love hummers, but the ants always end up blocking the "flowers" of our hummingbird feeder.

  12. We have only seen a few of these winged wonders in our yard, even when we had feeders, which we recently gave to an avid bees watcher friend. Looks like you had a great time watching and photographing them.

  13. butterbean carpenterJuly 16, 2013 at 7:45 PM


    If you put VASELINE on the hanger-wire the ants can't/won't get to the feeders, to block the holes !!!!!