Along the Natchez Trace

Monday, July 8, 2013

Gorgeous Gorget

A gorget is a patch of colored feathers found on the throat or upper breast of some species of birds. It is a feature found on many male hummingbirds, particularly those found in North America; these gorgets are typically iridescent. The term is derived from the gorget used in military armor to protect the throat.

Feather wear and exposure to the sun can produce changes in the apparent color of iridescent gorget feathers. 

I often set a goal to get a good photograph of a specific bird.  Here I've been fortunate to have 2 birds that are particularly photogenic right outside my window.

The male Painted Bunting is so colorful he is such fun to see.  Even the female buntings shades of green are quite beautiful.

But the male Black-chinned hummingbird has been my latest conquest.  Not just a photo of him, but one of the sun on his throat, causing the black feathers to look iridescent purple.

 The lower band of his throat glitters a lovely purple when the sun hits it just right.
As I wrote before, the color isn't created by pigment but rather by the feather structure and light wavelengths.

Another attempt at capturing that gorgeous gorget... 

 A bit of the "metallic" shows here....

Another view of the male Black-chinned hummingbird.
No purple shows here.... his throat looks black.  There is some of the "metallic" green.

 The next 2 photos were taken just seconds apart...

While the male may wear a beautiful "necklace", not to be outdone, the female at least wears a glittery gown to the dance.  But there better be one of those revolving mirrored lights for anyone to notice.

Thank goodness for digital cameras...  I'm still trying for the "perfect" photo....  if I didn't have one, at the rate I take photos, I could be the sole support of the Kodak film company!

That's (almost) All For Today!

I got several comments about insect bites and how to stop the itch.  Thank you all...  either your solution worked or the bugs aren't biting me as much.  
And... Mary-Pat...  how do I find your blog?  


  1. Wowzer - those are some great hummingbird shots. That first one is beautiful and really shows off the gorget to good advantage.

  2. If you have a way to set your shutter speed to 1/1000 of a second, you'll be able to stop the wing movement as well. :)

  3. That male appears to be "in your face." Was the feeder getting low?

  4. Just beautiful! I always love getting good hummer shots and seeing other bloggers', too. :)

  5. All your pictures are perfect. How much better can they be?

  6. I have never seen a hummingbird THAT close.. and it's not the pigment? it's the 'feather structure and light wavelengths'.

    I never.... jeeeez you got yourself quite a camera... don't think my little iPhone can do that. 1/1000, Judy? I remember the days when I had an Miranda 35mm ... had more fun and wasted a ton of film ... started making slides ~ wonder where they are. Loved all the filters and lenses...

    but now... I just aim and shoot ~ really? hahaa... well? their memories not art as someone said.

    Yours and Judy's stuff is art. I learned what a gorget is ... hah ~ pronounced gorge et or I'll google... that's interesting. I still have trouble pronouncing chipotle ... I don't know why. have a block. POT or poke

    1. dammit I hate grammar errors and I think I make one ever time I'm heah..... they are memories... well, I googled and it's pronounced .../ˈɡɔrdʒɨt

      wth ... going to be another chipotle type thing... sounds like a sneeze

  7. Hummers are such a delight to see. Nice captures!!

  8. Oh, goodness, that first picture of the purple throat is glorius!!!!