Days in Pictures

Real men wear pink

And flap their wings 40 beats a second

I’ve been shooting Anna’s Hummingbirds (and a couple Rufous when I can catch them) from the beginning of my birding days, but they’re hard to capture! For a couple years I managed to get pretty decent shots of these beauties — young and adult, stretching, eating, eating in flight, and so on — but I always yearned for more. Better gear and lots of practise gradually led to better results, like this little guy in March of last year:

Anna's hummingbird
Little big stretch

The next peak in my hummingbird photography happened in November, where a territorial male got very close to my questing lens…

Anna's Hummingbird
Glare glare glare

… followed by this first-winter male just starting to grow his face bling.

Anna's Hummingbird
Juvenile delinquent

But that wasn’t the end! Some time in January, I started noticing a male had claimed the bushes south of the Sunset Beach dog beach. He turned out to be a super reliable resident, choosing a variety of perches, so I was able to take a lot of amazing shots from many different angles.

Anna's Hummingbird

One time he happened to land very close to me, and I got my best shot so far. Better than that one on the fence, since I got some of his pink / gold shininess this time. Plus, if you zoom in, you can even see the underside of Burrard Bridge reflected in his eye!

Anna's Hummingbird, male
Anna's Hummingbird

And after that day… I’ve let myself relax a bit. Through all that practice and growth, I always really envied people who could get those really good hummingbird photos, especially of males in all their shiny glory. It seemed like purest magic to me, something deep down I didn’t really believe I could do myself. But now I’d done it! I’d proven myself—I know, I don’t have anything to prove, but that’s what it felt like. Still a hell of an achievement and best of all, I know I can do it again.

But I can take it slow! It’s not a race; not against hummingbirds, and especially not against more experienced photographers. It’s a bit of a struggle to find inspiration without wallowing in comparison, but I’m getting there.

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