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on Jul 16, 2013 in Wildlife Photography

Caesar Rules the Yard

DBHRU0010 as Smart Object-1

Seven days ago, we had no, zero, nada hummers in the yard! The flowers were all in bloom, feeders filled and out and still, no hummers. We were really wondering what was up and pretty bummed. As you might remember, last year we had our friend Alvin and learned about how much fun I have with our hummers. Then six days ago, the first hummer appeared and we were happier. At first, only one juvenile Allen’s was in the year and by today, we had five in the meadow fighting for dominance. I’d even seen a Calliope a could of times so I was getting excited. And then this evening … a Rufous Hummer, an adult male, took over “the perch.” Oh my!

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We have Rufous in the yard all the time, but never had one proclaim dominance of “the perch” (you’ll need to watch my Kelby class to understand about “the perch.”) And while I’ve photographed them before, I’ve not for a long time. How long? I don’t have any digital images of a Rufous! So I dropped everything, set up the D4 / 80-400 on the Really Right Stuff with Pocket Wizards. When Caesar (what we’re calling him) took off chasing another hummer, I ran out on the deck and basically dropped the tripod to see how it would react to it sitting there (that’s the top photo). It didn’t hesitate for a heartbeat, it came right back to the perch with the camera out. So next time it took off after another hummer, I went back out and fine tuned the placement of the rig and then snuck back into the house. I was no sooner back in and it was perched on the perch.

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Here’s the rub. I had to raise the ISO to make anything happen and I hate doin that! Ya, I like the photos but they’re not up to my snuff. When Caesar took over the perch, the sun had already gone behind the pines. I could have used flash but not knowing how tolerate he’d be, didn’t want to scare him off before the morning. So, I shot while I could crossing my fingers the whole time these won’t be the only images I’ll get.

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So, if life is being good to me, while you’re reading this, I’m out on the deck with my new best friend, Caeasr.