Readers’ wildlife photographs

August 4, 2014 • 11:42 pm

Two readers sent photos today. First, Stephen Barnard from Idaho sent two photos of rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) with his captions:

1. “YOU want a piece of ME?”

This is the attitude that a female Rufous will take, defending a feeder, hovering or perching, until exhaustion.


That’s one pugnacious bird!

2. “Aaaahhhh! Bee!!!”

Imagine being stung by a wasp if you were the size of a hummingbird. It would be fatal. Hummers are very careful around bees and wasps.


And reader Diana MacPherson sent a Baltimore Oriole with the note:

I took this picture of a juvenile Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) who was overly fascinated with the canna lily flowers. I cropped in his face so you can see his pretty eyes.



18 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photographs

  1. Such good photos!

    I love the yellow and orange in Diana’s (gorgeous cannas!) and the bee in Stephen’s. Beauty is the reason why I pay attention to/learn about nature. 🙂

  2. How did Stephen & Diana manage to get such a clean & plain out of focus background? Was it just shooting low against the sky or is there an out-of-sight feeder for Stephen’s pics to attract the birds?

    1. We’re both using long lenses and focusing them on the birds. So the long focal length of the lenses mean that the lenses aren’t bothering to look at the background at all and this makes a nice background blur.

      I hope that makes sense – I’m the worst at explaining things because my brain seems to just hang on to the punch line.

    2. There’s a mountain behind the hummingbirds, not sky, but it’s out of focus. I’m using a 500mm lens about as close as it can focus. The hummers are attracted to a feeder.

      1. Thanks both.

        I rely on a Pentax Bridge camera – X90 – light & easy to use but sometimes wish I had a nice SLR…

  3. I like the weird feet on the hummingbird. I’ve never seen them relaxed like that – my hummers pull their feet in really tightly when they hover. Love the bee capture too – I’ve seen my hummers watch bees suspiciously then do very quick acrobatic manoeuvres to avoid them.

  4. Excellent, as always. I was wondering, Diana, what you meant by saying that you cropped in his face? I see no hint of editing.

  5. These are inspiring to me to try my own hand at outdoor nature photography. I have my dads old camera equipment, consisting of a bunch of good electronic focus lenses for a Canon camera, but the body is for film. I would like to get a used but decent digital camera. At a minimum that will set me back at least $300. Then I need a couple inversion rings to get into macro photography, a decent tripod with a boom extension…
    Well, the kids can work their own way through college, right?

  6. That thing chasing the hummer is neither a bee nor a wasp. It is a yellowjacket, a hornet. Which reminds me of one of my favorite limericks:

    I once knew a fellow from Bree
    Who was stung in the arm by a wasp.
    When asked “does it hurt?”
    He replied “no it doesn’t,
    I’m just glad that it wasn’t a hornet!”

    1. I thought yellow jackets were wasps. I do admit to ignorance in telling them a part and have to look it up all the time.

      I do know that yellow jackets can be vicious bastards & I try to avoid them.

  7. I’m aware that the insect isn’t a bee, but “bee” sounds funnier than “wasp” to me, coming from a hummingbird. I don’t think it’s a yellow jacket. I’m unfortunately very familiar with yellow jackets, and if they were around I’d track down their nest and exterminate them.

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