Friday, September 5, 2008

Eating out of My Hands

From ROBIN'S NESTING PLACE
I cleaned and refilled my three hummingbird feeders this morning. As I stepped on the patio with the third feeder I decided to stand there for a few minutes just to see if by chance a hummingbird would drink from the feeder as I held it. Sure enough, within seconds I had a brave hummingbird right in my face checking me out. I could feel the breeze on my face from the wings as it hovered a few inches away from my eyes. I guess I passed the test because it lit right on my feeder as I held it and drank the fresh nectar.

What a thrill! I had read that they would do this but had never been successful the few times before when I tried. I was so excited that I nearly cried with joy at this awesome pleasure.

I stayed on the patio and watched them for about an hour. They have obviously gotten used to me, because I was standing right in front of the smallest feeder and they still came.

Before I went back inside, I wanted to try one more time to see if I could get them to eat from my hands and this time I wanted to get a picture of it. I put the camera strap around my neck, flipped up the LCD screen so I could see, held out the feeder, and waited, trying not to move a muscle. They were zipping all around me fighting over their turf. I stood there breathless just knowing any second one of them would light on it, then my camera battery went dead. So frustrating.

Oh well, maybe tomorrow they will drink from me again and I can capture the moment with a picture.

I never tire of seeing these amazing creatures. They are so fascinating!

37 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

You are a very patient stalker of hummingbirds, Robin. How thrilling that they will come up to you like that. Great pics, as always.

Patricia said...

Gorgeous photos, Robin. Don't you just hate that when your battery dies on you. I've had that happen more times that I care to admit. I've gotten in the habit now of keeping extra batteries in the charger, putting new ones in the camera before I walk out the door, and putting two more fully charged ones in my pocket.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have always wanted to try that but I haven't. Aren't they the most charming birds. You are so lucky to have had them eat fromt he feeder while you held it.

I have had them come and check out a blouse I have had on that had big red flowers. I didn't even breathe when it was so close so I know the excitement you felt.

Jayne said...

Beautiful Robin! They will eventually come to those feeders in your hand. Try again. :c)

Stacy said...

Oh wow! Your hummingbirds are getting brave! Ours are pretty brave too though if the dogs are in the yard they hesitate. They like to fly up to our sliding glass door and look in at the cat - I love to see that when it happens! You have the same feeders we do! They suck through ours in two days- I can't keep up and I have 3 out there!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Thanks, Pam. Somehow I seem to lose track of time when I'm watching hummingbirds.

Patricia, with my other cameras I do have extra batteries that I keep handy. I got this camera right before my husband lost his job and only have one battery right now. A second one is definitely on my shopping list!

Lisa, you should try it! It is such a thrill to have one so close! I think now is a really good time to try since they're filling up their tanks getting ready to fly south. I've definitely seen more activity in the last few days at my feeders.

Jayne, I will definitely be trying again! I want a picture of it this time. It was your blog post about your sister's feeders that motivated me to try again yesterday!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Stacy, they are brave! I love it when they look in the windows too. I think one was trying to let me know the feeder was empty. We were at the kitchen window face to face. I immediately filled it. Now I wonder if that was the one that came to drink.

Rowena said...

How very exciting Robin! I have yet to even see a hummingbird myself. And all I can say is that you are definitely somewhat of a garden Muse. Fantastic post!

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Outstanding photos, Robin! I've never captured these guys very well digitally - these are very cool!

Sherri said...

Robin, I love your pics of the hummingbirds. They are such a wonderful creature! I hope they eat out of your hand and you get a pic of that-what an amazing fete that would be!!

Regina said...

Robin, your photos are wonderful. Are you shooting in a manual mode or what program mode do you use?
My husband loves your photos, too. When I couldn't remember what your camera is, he went back through your posts to find out what you are using.
A great camera is nice.
But you obviously have a great eye!

Sue Swift said...

What a thrill indeed - they've obviously decided you've been put there to look after them. I'm sure you'll get the picture you want before they all leave for the winter.

Debbie said...

Robin, what a thrill. Our hummers seem more timid, but maybe that is because I usually have a group of children running around.

Your photos are gorgeous.

Balisha said...

Hi,
I just picked you as one of my top 5 favorites. Come over to my blog and pick it up please.

Roses and stuff said...

How interesting - I thought all birds feeded on seeds...little did I know about Hummingbirds!
Great photos!
/Katarina

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Regina, I'm really not a very good photographer because I always use the auto mode. I figure the camera is smarter than I am. Usually the shots come out pretty good, so I'm satisfied letting the camera do the work for me.

shirl said...

Great stuff Robin :-)

I can completely understand the joy this would have given you :-D

I can also completely understand the frustration of a battery going dead! I had a similar experience recently one evening (but it was the case of the memory running out on video capture) as a hedgehog and cat were in the frame together. It was case of ‘what happened next?’ Mm… I should have used that as a post title :-D

I am hopeful for you that you will get the photo capture you are looking for and it will be very special indeed :-D

Louise said...

Amazing photographs! I always love coming to your site to see all the amazing close-up nature shots. I love hummingbirds! What kind of camera do you have?

HappyMouffetard said...

Wonderful photos! Much as I love the birds of the UK, it would be amazing to have hummingbirds too.

Connie said...

Those are some really awesome photos! I have had hummingbirds think I am a flower in the garden, and come very close....especially when I wear red.

owlie1010 said...

Ive been browsing your blog and may i say, GOOD JOB!! your photography skills are amazing, as well as your gardening!!

I have a question for you...your bird bath that looks like its a big terra cotta pot, where did you get it or how did you make it??? Its beautiful!

Gail said...

Robin, Sighing over your wonderful photos and your ability to charm the fantastic hummingbird. Your photos are so good, it bears repeating!

gail

Sunita said...

Robin, I have a very dumb question ... just what is in that feeder? Is it water or some exotic concoction?
Sorry, but we dont have hummingbirds in India. So, I dont have a clue about them except that they look gorgeous.

Kylee said...

Robin, you've got some awesome photos of your hummers! And I've heard you can feed them this way, but I've never tried. I just love them and they do seem very friendly. So many times, they've just hovered right in front of my face and just looked at me! I stay very still and they just aren't bothered by me at all, so I'm guessing I'd be successful, too, at feeding them like you did. I really need to try!!

Dave said...

Great shots! Patience does have its rewards. They do get casually comfortable with you after a time. Chickadees seem to be like that as well. Just not as skittish as some other birds.

Karen said...

Too cute! You must have a super fast shutter on your camera to catch them looking so still... amazing. They have been going nuts in my garden, no feeders but I guess enough for them to sip even as the garden is starting to shut down a bit. How fun to get so up close and personal with nature!
- Karen
http://greenwalks.wordpress.com

Defining Your Home said...

I love your blog! I faved it in Blotanical and have added it to my blogroll! Great photos, too! Cameron (Defining Your Home Garden)

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Thank you all for all of your kind comments.

Louise, these pictures were taken with my Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50.

owlie1010, you are very observant! The birdbath is two clay pots stacked, with a clay saucer painted blue.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Sunita, it is basically sugar water. I mix 4 parts of water to one part sugar.

CIELO said...

Robin.... I love your blog!

cielo

Susie said...

These are really fantabulous pictures!!! I can't believe your battery went dead right in the middle of that.

I love these little birds. I can watch them for hours. Of course then I would never get anything done!

Mary said...

YOUR BATTERY WENT DEAD? What a bummer! You will get that photo, Robin!

Your pictures are so clear and pretty! I still have gobs of them but I'm noticing a little less nectar is being slurped up lately. The adult males are gone.

I think I'll try holding their favorite feeder in my hand but I don't know if I can focus my new camera on them - it will take some effort :o)

Been away from here too long...

Mary

Heavy Petal said...

OMG, what beautiful and stunning photos. Thanks for sharing!

Linda Lunda said...

What a beutiful series of photos. Ones in my lifetime I would like to se colibird!
Linda

our friend Ben said...

Wow, Robin!!! I am SO amazed at your stunning hummingbird photos! Maybe you should think about doing a book. (Seriously, I'm a book editor who has worked on many a backyard bird book in my day.) Awesome!!!

raggedrose said...

We have the same family of hummers come back each year. The reason I say they are the same family---As soon as they arrive in the spring they go looking in all our windows until they find someone. They stay in front of the window for a few minutes. We fill and put out the feeder.
There is a different kind of feeder than the one you have it has perches.
In the past I have hung ours down low outside the kitchen window. If I stand behind the feeder wearing sunglasses with my finger on one of the perches a bird will come and land on my finger and feed. But there is a catch--they will get right in your face about 2 inches from your eyes and stare at you before they sit down. That's why I ware sunglasses.
If the feeder gets empty they come and find me outside and get right in front of my face or just over my head and stay there until I go to fill the feeder.
Our birds should be leaving soon because it is October and the nights here are getting into the 40's. I will miss them.

Kerri said...

Fabulous pictures, Robin! I can imagine your excitement having them come so close. They really are fearless little creatures, aren't they? I was amazed to read about the praying mantis trying to catch them. Nasty thing!