Hummer Locals~

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The year round hummers have names. Meet Star.
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Star got the name because she is my star poser and lets me get quite close. She often sleeps with me a couple of feet away which is incredibly cute! She looks about ready to nod off now.
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Yep, here she goes, snoozing the day away. I can identify with a hummer who likes her naps!
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This is Flash. He strobes his intense colors at will and frequently. He tends to be a bit more hyper and dominant than laid back Star.

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He would never sleep in my presence, but he loves to zoom at great velocity over the top of my head, making my hair flutter!

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At the feeder he perches at the back and hides, peeking at me occasionally out of curiosity.
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Piloto is Spanish for pilot.

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He drinks from the feeder only while in flight, never perching.

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Piloto is named for his flying ability.

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He is always in super fast motion and is an expert in flying backwards.

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He loves to fly about a hundred feet in the air and dive bomb down at up to 6o mph!

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Darth is named for his black helmet and his cranky behavior. He will frequently dislodge Star from her perch while napping, just because he can! He is quite entertaining to watch and harmless, albeit the other hummers do find him annoying.
The spring migration will be starting any day now. Up to 40 additional hummingbirds will descend on The Holler. I will hang additional feeders to accommodate the numbers and we have nest boxes going up in the center courtyard. By mid-April The Holler will be humming!
Cheers to you from the The Holler Hummer locals~

323 thoughts on “Hummer Locals~

  1. So cute that they have names and “personalities”….this is only possible where the photography is masterful and the love of nature paramount. I think I’m in love with Star.

    • I am totally in love with Star. It is unusual to find such a mellow and relaxed hummingbird. We tend to watch each other. If I wander away, he frequently shows up in a nearby flower. <3

  2. Beautiful photos. I was thinking you should be seeing hummers on their way north. We don’t see them until later in the summer when they start heading south down the Rio Grande Valley.

    • I am expecting the hordes arrival any day now, with the peack reached by mid-April and lasting until fall. Only the locals stay year round, for the migrators The Holler is simply their summer home! 😉

  3. I know I always seem to say this Cindy but these are fantastic! These hummers are just gigantic in these photos. That last photo of Flash, with the color around his face all lit up, is particularly intense. They sure do have their own individual personalities don’t they? I look forward to more posts like these as we approach the height of hummer season! ~Lynn 🙂

    • Thank goodness I have friends like you who love the birdies Lynne. <3 <3 The main Holler entertainment for us is about to begin, and I need to get geared up for changing two, two quart feeders daily!

  4. Your pictures are always so beautiful. When we plant sunflowers, the hummingbirds come not for the seeds but for the flowers and they are so pretty to watch. Keep up the good work. A.G.

  5. Lovely photos. How cute that you’ve given them all names! Their personality differences are very interesting, It’s as if you were describing my kids. Thanks for sharing. Hope you’ve been well. ☺

  6. You are getting to know them quite well, and seeing their different personalities shine out in one way or another is just amazing. They are such beautiful and dainty birds but alas, we don’t get them here. However, I get to enjoy them through your incredible photos! You are such a good photographer.
    I think I’ve asked you before, but what kind of camera do you use and do you use a zoom lens to capture these exquisite little birds?

    • Hi Barb. I use the Sony HX400 which has an adjustable zoom lens up to 1200mm equivalent. All of these photos were shot in zoom, but none at full zoom. So pleased you enjoyed my friend and cheers to you~

  7. I hope you don’t mind Cindy, but I’ve shared your post on my Passionate About Pets page on Facebook. I want everyone to see those cute little hummingbirds and your incredible photography.

  8. When we lived in Central America, we had 5 species of hummingbirds – my favorite was a big blackish one, who had a purple vest and curved beak, but that one and the others were bullied by a tiny red headed one, who had a short straight beak and the habit of attacking them like a kamikaze… I could never get any good photos of them, so am very impressed that you’ve accomplished this.

    • So happy you love the hummers! I have seen the hummingbirds in Central America. They have them in great numbers and beautiful variety. How exciting it must have been to live there! I would love to go back and see more of them.

  9. Hummingbirds are the reason if I had life again I would live in North America. These extraordinary photos made me all happy and sad all at once! The photos are wonderful, and the birds are out of this world. I’m with Cynthia on this one – Star is my friend…

    • Ahhhh, your comment touches me. I know precisely what you mean when you say happy and sad at the same time, that bittersweet feeing. Hummingbirds are just very special. Ancient people in Central America believed they were spiritual messengers, and carved massive hummingbirds into stone plateaus that can only be diserned or seen from atop very high mountains. They lived closely with them and revered them. I understand this and agree with it. Hummingbirds are magical creatures and they are not afraid of humans like other wild birds are. I love them and I can tell you do too. <3

  10. What a handsome little hummer community! Darth sounds like a kid I knew in school – always stirring up the pot. Do you know how far their typical migration journey is?

    • Some banded Rufous hummingbirds were documented completing a 3,500 mile annual migration from Alaska. Theses smallest birds in the world, fly across the Gulf of Alaska which boggles my mind. Some hummers make up their minds to stay in one place, like our year round hummers. Unlike other birds they will choose when environmental conditions allow. They amaze me.

  11. Loved your photos. I so miss seeing hummingbirds. In Los Angeles we had plenty and I loved filling the feeder and watching them but I have not seen a single one since moving to Dordogne.

    • Sad. I can tell you miss them. Reliable garden feeding stations have allowed hummingbird populations to increase despite habitat loss. So your feeder in LA helped the species. I am sorry you no longer can do this.

  12. Love, love, LOVE this. How great is that you are on “name basis” with these beautiful birds, goes to show they love hanging around you 🙂 and as always, the photos are wonderful. I’m having a bit of photo envy going on over here… I wish I was even just a tiny part this good… What camera do you use for your stuff (or did I ask you this already?)

  13. We don’t have these birds here in dear old England. But I wish we did. Would love to see a few of these flitting about in my garden 🙂 lovely photographs !!!

    • I hear you! They are so much fun. They buzz you when you are working in the garden and follow you around to see what you are doing. They are garden companions and they make really distinctive sounds, of course the humming, but also clicking.

  14. Amazing. I have never seen a hummer asleep. Rarely have I seen one even perching to rest. Usually, they are too busy busy zimming around my head or the yard. My heart could not contain the joy of seeing 40 hummers all together. Enjoy. (:D the busy busy was a typo — I left it because it seems so appropriate.)

  15. Amazing photos Cindy. The variety of hummers you have there is super. We have, for the most part, only the ruby throated hummers. Our variety depends on male, female, mature, immature and that is about it. Take care.

    • We have the rubies too. They are a joy and a tad hyper. We have been getting more Rufous which pleases me. Any species of hummingbird is a joy to have in one’s garden and I am very glad you have them Wally. Cheers to you my friend~ <3

    • Sitting quietly tends to work. They get used to your presence and eventually will buzz up to your face as if to ask, “What ARE you doing here?” 😉 😉

  16. These are gorgeous and so close I see every little detail. They’re so tiny and c.u.t.e.!
    Saw a few hummingbirds when I was young, then a few in British Columbia a few years ago. Now these. Thank YOU. Love them and your description of their personalities. Fantastic photography, Cindy. <3 <3

  17. When Don and I built our little cabin in the woods, we had many hummingbirds…it was wonderful. We had feeders on two sides of the house and the hummers would zoom around chasing each other from feeder to feeder. Don and I used to wonder what would happen if they were coming round just as we were going out the side door. OUCH!!! We could just imagine tiny hummer bodies sticking out of us 🙂

    • My son was just asking about this. We will be having dinner outside on the side patio in summer where the feeders are, and 40 or so hummers will be zinging around our heads. I think they are such percision flyers that this will not likely happen, unless they are in escape mode from combat, in which case it could. It never has happened to me though in 8 years at The Holler.

  18. Beautiful images Cindy! What type of camera do you use for birds? My iPhone 6 just doesn’t cut it! LOL I am in the market and would love your input.
    cate

  19. These are amazing – a visual feast. Did you take these yourself? How??!! I’ve tried to capture normal garden birds and only end up with a blur. Oh, and I love their names.

    • Thank you so much! I sit in a chair near either the bushes the hummers hang out in or near the feeders. I use zoom and get the focus first and then just sit and click and enjoy the hummingbird antics. My camera is a Sony HX400 which has adjustable zoom that gives me lots of flexibility.

  20. That will be a lot of feeders and hummers to enjoy. They are beautiful with such incredible color and detail. How many acres do you have on your property in the holler? You must have a lot of species of birds and wildlife, Cindy with all the amazing photos you take. And so professional.

  21. Wow! So beautiful. I don’t often see ‘hummers’ but while in Arizona this winter, there were 2 particular bushes near the condo entrance we stayed at where a few of them liked to visit regularly. 🙂

  22. What spectacular photos, Cindy! You truly amaze me with your ability to get so “up close and personal” with these lovely birds. The best I’ve done thus far is grab a few blurred shots from behind a window!

    • Yes, but the A Team is going to be facing huge competition quite soon when the migrating hordes return from Central America, tired, hungry, wanting to mate, and cranky. The A Team will drop to C Squad in the face of all the belligerent competition! 😉

  23. Wow, Cindy, these photos are unbelievably detailed, revealing every feather of these spectacular birds. Thank you so much for sharing them! You could easily sell your photos to magazines like Living Bird and Audubon if you wanted to.

  24. I love the way you have defined their personalities – and yes, I do believe they each have specfial characteristics just as we do. Beautiful shots as usual.

    • It took me awhile in life to realize that all animals do, they have feelings, they can pick up our feelings and intent, they are intelligent, aware, sentient, and they are just incredibly wonderful, but I know, you know, all of this! <3

  25. Absolutely amazing shots of these beauties Cindy! How lucky can you get? I just love their colours and the story you told. You also gave them such beautiful names. Thanks for sharing. 😀 ♥

  26. I think I would just like to sit all day and watch these charming little birds. You capture their personalities so well. Looking forward to seeing more of Humming Holler

    • You can go to sit and watch them and completely not notice that time has passed. Some might say this is a waste, I call it nirvana! Hope all is well with you and Jack, Pauline! <3

      • Certainly is Nirvana. A lovely way to “waste!” time. We are keeping well and for the first time in over 6 years all the boys and their families will be coming round to our place to have a get together. Some times it is good not to be travelling…

  27. I can never get enough of these delightful hummers. How adorable of you to name them. They’re handsome one and all. We have a pair of females, each nesting in a different tree but the males seem more plentiful. I’ve seen the females pull on spider webs and grab plant fluff for their nests. It’s been a magical spring.

    Gorgeous shots, Cindy.

    • The nest are amazing works of engineering aren’t they! We put up two nest boxes this year and have hummingbird fluff for the rest. I twine it on the feeder and they pull it offf to make the stays that enable their nest to stay affixed to twigs when the winds blow! They are smart to use spider web, this very tough and very flexible material.

    • I know, life is so confusing, let me simplify things for you. With hummingbirds, gender doesn’t matter, especially since I cannot always differentiate it correctly, so when I am unsure about the sex, I just randomly assign it, kinda like teachers did Mexican names for me in Spanish language classes when I was growing up. Since there was no Spanish name for Cindy, I was given a different Mexican name every year. (I really hated Felicita). Hummingbirds fall in the same category as any pet. Think of dogs and cats. You can love your dog Sam and your cat Fred just as much as your parakeet Betty.
      Not to mention, we are living in gender fluid days, Flash could be male biologically, but female psychologically, in which case she would probably want a name change, maybe to something like Flashette. (I do like this new name quite a lot and am wondering if changing it now would be inappropriate).
      Anyhoo, Flash by any other name (or gender), like all birds and people, would surely be as sweet, and we can love them all!! <3 <3
      This was like trick a comment. It elicited a treatise on gender politics! I love it. Please do this more & be well!! 😉 😉

    • This connection you describe is the magical essence of blogging to me. It does indeed demonstrate that we all are connected by invisible ties that bind us to each other, to the natural world, and to all her creatures. I think the humminbirds feel this connection, and animals in general may be way ahead of us in terms of silent connection and communication. It is up to us to try and catch up to them.
      Thank you Hilary, for being a human who can feel this. <3

  28. I am not tired to say you are in Paradise, Cindy! Pictures are just breathtaking!
    Half a year ago I moved to the new house and the street name is Hummingbird Way. I am anxious to watch them and then I can make the conclusion if the name of the street is right. 🙂

    • You might want to hang out a feeder with a drop or two of red food dye in it initially to attract them to you. After they are using the feeder, you can eliminate the dye. Depending on where you live, the hummingbirds tend to arrive in mid-April. I do hope you get to experience them!

      • I am not sure it happens in mid-April here. Today we have snow, freezing rain, rain – nasty weather. It is going to last for tree days. Apparently, they come to us later on.
        Cindy, thank you very much for the short guide to impress this lovely creatures. I’ve seen them a lot sometime ago in Travers city (Michigan). They are adorable!

      • Yes, okay, they will come later then. Surprises me they migrate to snowy places, like Alaska. But just consider the idea? They might come to where you are. There are just like this gift that sorta bowls you over. I so hope you do get them.

  29. How wonderful to be so close to these beauties, Cindy! I’m so stunned with these photos, the clarity is amazing and the colors are gorgeous! Up to 40 additional hummingbirds will descend on The Holler, wow!!! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your joy and beauty with us, Cindy.
    I almost missed this one. 😕

  30. Hi Cindy, …read this yesterday afternoon and then things went crazy in the house (as though that’s something new and different 🙂 ..), and I didn’t get a chance to say anything. I envy you with your year round hummers. I feel really lucky if we get a couple of migrants that stay close to the house. I try to keep shrubs and flowers that they like along with a feeder close by for them just to encourage them to stay. Your pics are absolutely splendid, and now that I know your secret, I can see why you can get so close to them. …hugs, Cuz !

    • It is truly is incredible, especially eating dinner outdoors with them in the summertime with them whizzing around our heads! People cannot talk with their hands! 😀

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      • Hummingbirds are super curious. I see this all the time. They investigate all sorts of other flying creatures with seemingly zero fear since they fly better than any other bird. Plus the other flying creatures, non-hummers, never seem challenge them. The only creatures I have seen attempt to actually prey on The Holler Hummers are the Roadrunners and the Praying Mantis. The Roadrunners have no chance, but the Mantis might, so I relocate them.

  34. Happy Easter Cindy, when I did textile design at school we looked at butterflies to get colour and pattern ideas for our fabric designs and clothing designs, when I look at these beautiful birds with their fabulous plumage, the colours you’ve captured are so amazing, I want to replicate them in fabric.

    • Yes, I can understand this. It also explains why women throughout history have worn bird feathers, trying and failing, to replicate the original. I would love to see your hummingbird textiles. I suspect they would be truly lovely!

  35. I love to hear about your contact with the hummers, their names and oddities…I feel I come closer to them. That is just the way to think if you love animals. Personalities all of them! Thank you for sharing – and Happy Easter!

  36. The bluebirds and robin are back in our mountains. The juncos (“snow birds”) have not headed north quite yet. The hummingbirds will not be by for a couple of months though.
    Oscar

    • Oh I so love love the robins and bluebirds. The western bluebirds are so skittish here. The orioles and goldfinch are back and enjoying the fresh fruit. I have been eagerly awaiting their return!

    • Yes, when you see the first one it’s TIME! We are now getting hit with the spring onslaught, probably around 15 or so now, increasing daily. I suspect we will have even greater numbers this season than last as they seem to increase every year!

  37. Cindy you must have enormous patience to capture so many perfect images!! We have humming birds come to the yard, but they flit and fly so quickly, I can barely see them! These are truly beautiful.

  38. For the briefest of moments, I thought to myself: “Cindy finally got a HumVee to drive around town…” but you surprise me with an incredible series of action shots of these hyperactive birds (really an impressive display of photos here).

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