Look Who Came to Call on the Hummingbirds Today!

A Kestrel, which is a type of falcon.
I didn’t think it was a friendly visit and the hummingbirds didn’t either!
Kestrels like to hover in the still air and dive bomb their prey at up to 65 miles per hour. The Hummingbirds seemed to know this and cleared out tout de suite !
All except for this juvenile who is not even fully fledged yet. He thought it was a great opportunity to dominate the feeder. Of course since I was out and about, the poor kestrel had to look somewhere else for his morning meal!
And the juvenile hummer lived to fledge another day.
When the kestrel left, the hummers returned.
They are currently consuming approximately 32 ounces of nectar daily!
The kestrel is divine isn’t he? He was quite unafraid. Life at The Holler is really ‘for the birds’ and that is fine by me!
Cheers to you from all your Holler feathered friends~

227 thoughts on “Look Who Came to Call on the Hummingbirds Today!

    1. Stunning creature! This is the first time I was able to get one still. Usually they just bullet by. Falcons are the fastest moving creatures on earth, some varieties can reach up to 135 mph!

  1. A beautiful predator! It is awesome you got a good shot of the bird. This reminds me of seeing hawk dive bombing live in front of my eyes recently (about a month back). That was such a show and you can’t easily forget. On one hand, I like them but on the other hand I do not since the small cuties are scared of them.

    1. Oh YES!! Hawks in a dive are in incredible sight, the way they pause in mid-air, tuck their wings and let gravity take over! A big thrill to watch. I’m glad you got to see it and yes, woe to the prey of any flying raptor~

    1. I feel like I should be saying, “children mind your manners,” when out and about with The Holler critters. And of course the critters listen to me just about as much as my kids did!!

    1. Awww, thank you! My camera is a Sony HX-300. It has a built in Zeiss Vario Sonnar lens. Don’t know the F-stop or time, but the magnification was approx. 1000 mm at 35 mm equivalents. In reality the image size is really 5.6 mm. The Sony technology is crazy good~

  2. Wow amazing chest feathers and beautiful eyes! I’m glad you saved the baby humming bird from the hungry kestrel! I love your bird pics and Holler family! Hugz Lisa and Bear

    1. Yes!!! And even when he gets them, he will never be a Big Bird! Laughing…… The Hummers make up for their lack of physical size with their outsize personalities!

      1. Oh my goodness yes. Our little guys have been back for about a month now. We have Rufus hummers and they are five grams of pure evil. I’ve never seen such fussing and fighting in my life. Luckily two females ganged up on one male, so they were able to feed in peace. Otherwise, the male stands guard of the feeder and bullies everyone.

      2. Okay right after this reply, I am going to google image the rufus, can’t wait to see.
        “5 grams of pure evil.”
        Yes. Laughing.
        Accurate observation.
        I couldn’t love them if they were perfectly sweet…..
        But I do notice how much they give up the conflict when they need to bulk up on nectar when the sun starts to set.
        Then they cooperate, and share the feeders.
        They are simply remarkable.

    1. As I am typing this I am watching the hummingbird feeder glug with air bubbles in response to their greedy gulping…..the true wonder is how on earth do they eat this much???? It would be pretty cool if I had their metabolism….imagine all the forbidden sweets I would eat!!! 😛

    1. Love your photos as well my friend and many thanks. It is ridiculous, I worry about the hummingbirds when I go on vacation……Who will chase away the hawks and pick off the praying mani……..I’m such a pathetic mom!!

    1. Observing and photographing these creatures, as you well know my friend, is an absorbing and fascinating pastime. Merci beau coup mon ami…… and you keep on clickin too!

  3. I adore your life ‘for the birds’ Cindy and delight in all your posts. While all deserve dinner, I breathed a sigh of relief for that wee hummer. He’s lucky you were out there, deterring the handsome Kestrel. hugs, Gina

    1. Laughing…..it’s kinda like…okay I know you’re a raptor, but not the hummingbirds already, so what if I am feeding a hundred of them and it looks like a buffet to you!!!

      1. A buffet! That’s hilarious. 🙂 We have Merlins and when they get screeching (hunting) I pray for our neighborhood Robins! But they seem to prefer the English Sparrows which have dominated my feeders, so I guess I’ve created a buffet too.

  4. stunning pics of the kestrel Cindy … just yesterday we noticed an unusual silence int he bush as we walked through to the beach … oh yes, there he was .. a Goshawk! All the birds were staying still and silent, hoping to be unnoticed 🙂

    1. It is thrilling for me to even read what you wrote. The best thing I ever did for myself was move out of the suburbs and into the country. Life has immediate meaning here. So glad you have this too!

  5. Yes, Cindy, divine is a good word for this fine fellow! Beautiful shots. I’ve never seen one of these–we get osprey and the occasional bald eagle, but I have only had the pleasure of seeing a falcon (peregrine, I think) one time. Lovely, lovely bird!

    1. And I have only seen osprey once and didn’t get good shots! They are magnificent and an occasional bald eagle is a major thrill for me. We are heading to peregrine nesting territory and I am excited about seeing this. It is all just thrilling!

  6. That is a very beautiful falcon. The city Hall roof in San Jose had falcons nesting on it. It was really interesting. I know cams are set up in other places like that.

    1. Yes in NYC for example. A coyote once rode the NYC subway. Amazing that these creatures can adapt like this. Falcons are here but they are so fast, they are hard to photograph. I thought at first that this was a tame kestrel or sick or something because it just sort of sat there, but then I figured it was interested in the feeder and the humming birds. There were orioles here a few weeks ago. I got photos of the males, and then I found two dead females on the ground, obviously attacked by a raptor. When I went back out with my camera, one of them was gone so the predator picked it up. I assumed a Great Horned Owl, but now I wonder if it was the kestrel. Haven’t seen anymore orioles~

  7. We have some kestrels in London. They tend to hide themselves by clinging on to the sides of tall buildings during the very early morning and then diiving on their prey. A spectacular sight. 🙂

    1. You know my husband and I want to go back to the UK in 2015. Take a tansatlantic to Southhampton, go spend some time in the countryside, and move on to Eastern Europe. I would so love to see this in London……We’ll take you out for a pint if your available and you can show us where to look!

      1. Thanks. Unfortunately it’s a matter of luck as they tend to change there hunting/nesting area. They get moved on by development. We used to have a nesting pair on the tower block opposite but refurbishment moved them on. I’ll keep my eye out though.

        When I get the time, I’ll be doing some posts on places worth seeing, including some of the less well known that might take your interest. Wye Aye 😀

  8. 32 ounces of nectar daily, that is a lot for a little bird. Technology does help to take better photos, but yours are different because you love nature and you put your heart into it. We are so lucky to be your follower.

  9. I’ve seen Cara Caras (also a type of hawk) swoop through the air and pick up an unsuspecting Hummingbird that was leaving our garden all content. Poor thing…

    1. I saw Caracara’s too in Patagonia and Argentina. Got tons of pics of them. Are they vultures or hawks? I saw them kill a bird too. I was amazed by these birds. They were all over the place and quite big and formidable. Can’t imagine them catching a hummingbird. WOW!

    1. Yes, apparently they are opportunisitc and will go after songbirds and such. Reportedly this makes quite a show when they do it as they are very skillful flyers. But you are right, their ususal prey are mice, bugs and perish the thought, butterflies!!!

  10. As hawks go, I think the kestrel is the most beautiful…, the peregrine the fastest, and the red tail the most social. Beautiful pics, Cindy. …and contrary to the specious rumors floating about, I did not fall from the face of the earth……., I was pushed ! 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful Easter.

      1. I’m ok, for the most. More surgery needed for the skin cancer, trying to sell some property that no one wants to buy, work on the house/yard…, etc. Thanks for asking, Cuz. 🙂 Big hug !

      2. So what kind of skin cancer??? I know the difference.
        Work on the house, yard, means you are involved in your art, which is all good.
        I am a Barton. You can’t fool me. We are all massive worry worts. How are you really cuz?

    1. But I just read this post on your hospitalization, but couldn’t see the date. Did this just happen? Are you okay?
      I confess to having a very selfish reaction and I am sorry. I would miss you, your photos, and the beautiful Africa you present in your posts.
      But that is kinda nice isn’t it?
      I value what you do.
      Somehow I am pretty sure you are okay.
      Is this correct?

  11. How beautiful. Kestrels are amazing flying critters. There is a house down from us with two chimneys at each end of the house. Two peregrins have taken to resting on the chimneys before heading out to hunt. It is glorious to see them reeling about the the blue sky.

    1. Yes I have seen this also but not enough of these incredible flyers. Heading off the see the peregrine’s nesting area soon and most excited. You are lucky to have them nesting nearby!

    1. I know!! Save one, starve another? Actually and I gues regretfully and thankfully, there is a polyglot of rodents at The Holler. The kestrel was probably just looking for some dietary variety. They also eat butterflies which would also be a no go for me, if the kestrel was interested in my opinion, which thankfully he is not. Laughing……

  12. You have such awesome neighbors. .. even if they are always coming over for a meal! I’m learning about what feeders to put out to attract different birds and I’m starting to get some interesting visitors myself. Great captures btw!!

    1. It is so much fun to attract a variety of birds. We just got orieles, but a raptor killed two females, so now they have moved on. That is the first bird on bird fatality I have seen re: the feeders. Will be most interested to hear what you attract!

    1. The ultimate human dilemna when observing nature! It was like this in Africa, “Look at those gorgeous lionesses!” Oh nooooooo, “look at those Impalas run………”
      At The Holler I can protect some creatures like the hummers, but of course the kestrel is a stunner too…….and hopefully found lots of rodents to eat…….of course rodents are people too!!!!! Laughing…..

  13. The black oil sunflower seeds are bringing new birds to my feeder. I enjoy several woodpeckers, redwing blackbirds, wren, yellow finches, robins, doves, … I had to get a new feeder as the squirrels ate the plastic one. The metal one I have now is supposed to close the feeding holes with the weight of the squirrel. But I think they figured that out and hang upside-down on the feeder. Or wait for the birds to drop seed. The ducks and Canadian geese even try to see if there is anything left for them on the ground. Though now that we finally got the tree out of the creek I think they are happy to be in the water – without having to climb over the ‘dam’.

  14. The kestrel is so much like an owl, in the respect that it looks like it understands and is ‘wise’ beyond its capacity! I love the inquisitive nature in it, but also fear for the little birds and especially hope he is not going to hurt the hummingbirds.

    1. YES! All these emotions are what I felt too. I think it is important for humans to be aware of and sensitive to our natural feeling towards the creatures we share our planet with. You clearly are very much in touch with your feelings and I am grateful.
      Cheers to you and thank you ma deah’

  15. I just love these pictures! Kestrels are such beautiful birds, and they have the sweetest faces. It’s hard to imagine them preying on little hummingbirds. (That last picture of the kestrel that you posted makes me wonder if it knew what you were planning to write about it, because the expression on its face is like, “Who, me?”) I’m glad you were there to protect the fearless hummingbird!

  16. I love both birds!! So gorgeous, Cindy! The “Holler” seems like a heaven… or maybe a slice of a “Garden of Eden”. _Resa xo

    1. I am fair I do include the bugs, rattlesnakes, errrrrr……unusual folks and stuff……still I haven’t posted the chicken farm you have to pass on the way (roll up the windows, turn the air to recycle, plug your nose, and floor the accelerator!) So probably not precisely heaven…….. 😉

    1. Ohhh so nice, but no way do you wish to be me, in the just the first place I am a lot older than you!!! Laughing…….and no way am I a poet like you. You rock your socks off and I am so glad you are YOU!! <3
      Besides can you imagine if your got this wish and woke up as a 57 year old woman, with a husband named Jim, living in a place called The Holler???????
      It would be like a bad hollyweird sit-com from hell……Laughing!

      1. PS- Plus you would have two adult kids named Andrea & Matteo…….You really got me going on this tangent…..Now you are on you knees expressing gratitude for being yourself!!! Cracking up big time now~

      2. LOL. The beauty of the “holler” might compensate for any unwanted effects! LOL. it would be cool to jump inside your camera at least. May have to wait on a few technological advancements for that to happen! Nature just seems to unfold for you and say “here I am”. That’s a blessing and gift.

      3. Well okay we could swap selves for a couple of hours, but then due to my blogging addiction, I would probably bee line to your computer and post a bunch of cheesy poetry on your blog. No way is this a win situation for you!!! 😉
        In all seriousness though, I do hear and appreciate what you are really saying. The Holler is clearly not for everyone. But out here, where the wild things are, I am fully at peace. Thank you for recoginizing this & for giving me some great guffaws too. Cheers to you and thank you!

    1. It’s funny some hummers are more photogenic, not because they look better, but because their movements are less hyper-active. This little guy is definitely such. He’s a star!!!

  17. magnificent creatures Cindy, i have to ask at what distances are you shooting these from?
    from my own experience both of these varieties of birds are very skittish, not likely to stay
    put if they sense humans near. wow, a kestrel. that’s kinda’ rare to see, i saw my first
    Falcon in the Chicago yesterday, we’ve had a huge resurgence of them in the past decade.

    1. I am usually quite close. No more than 6 feet away. We are heading to Peregrine nesting territory so I hope to have some shots of these speedy guys. Maybe they will actually sit still on a nest!!! Cheers to you my friend and thank you~

  18. Such a gorgeous creature and beautifully captured – I’m fascinated by the politics of birds…who will feed with who, who eats who…so interesting to watch – thanks!!

    1. I think maybe it works because they are getting accoustomed to me and pretty much let me get close. They know I am not a threat to them and am “The Giver of the Nectar!” Laughing……

      1. This is almost worthy of a science fiction novel. You’ve violated the “Prime Directive” and a new hummingbird religious movement has resulted: Cindyism.

        You do take divine photographs, come to think of it. };-)>

  19. Cindy…my Lord you are a wonder!! As much as those hummingbirds! I would have to agree with Nav!! How in the world, were you able to catch those birds in midflight?! I do have an incredible hummingbird story to tell you. My Uncle Nokie, (who was a professional racecar driver) had a place atop a mountain here in the Smokey’s. The first time I visited him, he told me to have a seat on one of the rockers on his front porch. I did and he turned to me and said. “When they come…they’ll come in groups. It will scare you at first, because it’s strange to be sure…and usually they do not gather in this high a number. If you move one inch…breathe to heavy….or flutter your eyes to fast…they’ll fly away & you’ll miss the wonder! When they emerge…stay very still and watch them. I can remember thinking…he’s lost his mind. Then I got really nervous picturing the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds”. All of a sudden…the first of the birds, made it’s appearance. One single Hummingbird. He flew over to the feeder not two feet from me and began drinking when a strange sound surrounded us on the porch. Within seconds, more than twenty humming birds appeared and began dispersing to 7 of the dozen feeders he had hanging from his porch. A few seconds later, 20 more. And this went on & on until my Uncle had close to one hundred hummingbirds feeding on his porch! It was without a doubt one of the most magical moments I’ve ever experienced. Though to most that would sound silly…you would have to be there to appreciate it! As I looked at your pics, it occurred to me. “I wish I would’ve had Cindy there with me to document those lovely birds!!! Uncle Nokie passed away four years ago, but every time I visit his home; I remember how proud he was that day, to show us all what he enjoyed regularly. Watching his face light up as we experienced the dance of the hummingbirds. Thanks for the memory Cindy!!! Love this and sharing it now!! 😉 <3

    1. This story gives me goosebumps, and of course makes total sense to me in every way. When I take photos of the hummers, I focus on a particular bird or birds and have the camera in front of my eye. The other hummers buzz around me causing my hair to blow in their breeze and if I didn’t have the camera in front of my face, I would blink involuntarily because they come so close to my face. They land on my hand when I hang the feeders. They definitely know me and do not fear me. When I work in the garden, they drink out of the hose spray and follow me around to see what I am doing. If I am taking pics of bees on the blue sage for example, they will start to drink from the sage flowers almost as if to say, “take a pic of me here then” They are almost like pets and I love them. Your uncle and I clearly would have understood each other. Plus, I love to race around in our Boxster and my husband is a porsche race driving instructor in his spare time, so we would have that in common too. I am so glad you had this experience to know what it is like. There is something truly magical about forming a relationship with wild creatures. Trust you two to intuit this~ <3 <3

      1. Wow! As an Australian who has never seen a hummingbird reading these stories about flocks of Hummingbirds and their friendly interactions sounds amazing…even if I struggle to picture it. Our Rainbow Lorrikeets are very friendly like that and will visit my parents’ balcony. You get certain trees where the lorrikeets congregate in their hundreds all nattering at dusk. It’s an amazing sound…better than the screeching Sulphur-crested cockatoos.

  20. The first time I ever saw one of these little predators it flew right over my head. I’d never seen the colors like that on the underside of a regular bird. I’d seen it quite well since it flew right over me. When I got to my computer I spent some time figuring out what I’d seen. It was my first experience with this amazing raptor. Thanks for the pictures.

  21. Pingback: Sonntagsleserin KW #17 – 2014 | buchpost

  22. Reblogged this on Spirit In Action and commented:
    As always Cindy captures the beauty and spirit of these birds so that instead of static images each one is a living moment you are invited to experience. What a lovely break from all the serious and often negative news! Thank you Cindy!

    1. Oh we so need a break from the negative news. It feeds on itself and grows and creates depression and contagion in the receiver. Thank you my friend for seeing this!

  23. Bsolutely fabulous Kestrel, Cindy! the Hummingbirds aren’t too shabby, either, but those are among the best candid Kestrel photos I’ve seen anywhere. Well done!

  24. Pingback: Birds, Birds Everywhere | From guestwriters

    1. Birds are such amazing creatures. They do have lessons to teach us on how to live and I do feel priveleged with all the wonderful birds that live in Hollerdom. Cheers to you and thank you too!

  25. Hi Cindy,
    I send a card today and don’t ask me why this little paragraph about the Hummingbird and I remembered this post and wanted to share it with you. Perhaps, you’ve heard it before.
    “Legends say that the hummingbirds float free of time,carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. The hummingbirds delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.”
    Hope you are having a great day xx Rowena
    PS I was interested to read that your husband instructs as a racing car driver. My husband has an Austen Healey Sprite in the back shed. Not quite a Porsche and it’s certainly seen better days now. My husband would love to get it out on the track doing club racing but it won’t be hapening any time soon.
    xx Rowena

    1. What a delightful comment. I hadn’t heard all of this about hummingbirds, but I knew as totem animals, they symbolize the joy and beauty and pleasure of life, something I can heavily relate too. Austin Healy’s are phenomonal cars. I love excellent cars, just like my husband and yours. If I were you I would desperately want to take it for a spin, or 10! I hope your hubby does get it track ready. It would be so fun to see it pace around the track. Cheers to you Rowena and thank you for the lovely message~

  26. You must live at the intersection of heaven and my dream garden. I can only hope I get to see a few of the amazing scenes you capture in my life! Keep sharing these amazing shots 🙂

  27. Reblogged this on 4utu and commented:
    Awesome blog by an awesome lady that lives at the corner of heaven and my dream garden.

    You won’t be disappointed!


  28. Good Morning Cindy,
    Your photography is great~ ! I absolutely love hummingbirds! I need much better lenses to capture birds the way you do. I love looking at your blog! Thanks for subscribing to mine.

  29. Hi Cuz,
    Kestrels (Prairie Falcons) are just a precious treasure. Of all the falcons, I love their coloring the best. They’re not the largest of their type, but only second to the fastest- the peregrine. Peregrines are not nearly so pretty though. Didn’t know that they would go for a hummer though. How was the trip? G’nite….. Hugs ! 🙂

    1. Photographed my second kestrel yesterday. I agree with you. They are gorgeous birds. The trip is good so far and tomorrow we go by float plane up The Knight Inlet to stay with the grizzly bears and watch them fish~

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