Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in my Own Backyard!

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Finally!!!  It’s taken me years.  I planted a hummingbird garden back in 2006.  I’ve refined it year after year, and while I’d get the occasional hummer, they never seemed to stay for long.  But this summer we must have a nest nearby.  I’ve been seeing hummers pretty often for the past couple weeks, and tonight marks the third night in a row that I’ve seen them every few minutes in the evening.  Wow!  Tonight we even had two vying for the best flowers.  They were such fun to watch as they zipped around the yard, right over my head.  When they got into a territory dispute they’d fly higher and higher, tiny hovering specs against a great blue sky.  For the first time ever, I heard their little calls in my own backyard.  So even though we were eating dinner out on the porch, I of course had to drop everything and go grab my camera.  Rich continued chewing in between chuckles as he watched me watching hummers.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Coral Honeysuckle
Ruby-throated Hummingbird on Coral Honeysuckle

The light was low and I was hand-holding my Beast, and in the excitement of the moment, I didn’t immediately realize that I’d left the camera on f/20.0!  But I got a few shots of my fleeting friends, and some of those shots were even in focus! :) Over the past week I’ve tried to identify whether I was seeing a male, a female, or a juvenile.  For Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, which are the most common hummers in Florida, the males have a gorgeous dark throat (gorget) that flashes bright red in the sun.  The females lack the dark throat.  Juveniles look like females, but if they are juvenile males, you can start to see their gorget growing in, dot by dot.  So I think I have at least one juvie male, who proudly flashed his red speck at me in the waning sun…

I'm a Real Boy!
I’m a Real Boy!

The little guys sampled my fire bush, honeysuckle, various salvias, porterweeds, firecracker plant, and my powderpuff bush (yep, I’ve got the Top Ten Florida-Friendly Hummingbird Plants pretty well covered!).  It’s so great to see them enjoying the plants that I’ve taken such time to grow for them!

I tried to photograph both of them, but I don’t know for sure if I did or not.  At least one of them has a red spot.  I don’t know if the other one does.  It’s too bad they don’t come with name tags! :) Something tells me I won’t have to go far for good birds on my off-Friday morning…

If you want to learn more about attracting hummingbirds to your backyard, I summarized a bunch of information from a talk from hummingbird bander Fred Bassett.  It’s definitely worth a read!

3 thoughts on “Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in my Own Backyard!

    1. Aw, thanks Deb! I thought of you when I did my “I really truly have hummingbirds in my backyard!” dance. Rich is forbidden to post that to any sort of social media…

  1. Congratulations! Your very own hummers. I am officially jealous! No matter what I do, I get maybe one visit every two years. Sigh.

    Very nice images, no matter what f/stop!

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