Tag Archives: hummingbird

Oregon Coast Backyard Birds

We don’t see the grosbeaks all summer but they are here this week.  The Blackheaded grosbeaks are the most common.  The Evening grosbeaks are the most colorful.

The hummers stick around as soon as they find a feeder.

Male Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird – young male

The Tree Swallows are looking for a good place to nest.  This couple had a little chickadee chewing them out though.  So we don’t know if they raided the chickadee’s nest or if they were encroaching on each other’s territory.

Tree Swallows on dead tree

Wildlife Photography

I’ve never taken a class.  I use auto-focus more than any other setting.  I use a Canon SX40 HS with a 35x optical zoom.  I’m not here to teach you anything about photography.

Hummingbird fishing lure?
Hummingbird fishing lure?

I just enjoy wildlife so I want to preserve the moment.  And I love the attention to detail that God has in His creations!

Female or youth Rufous Hummingbird
Female or youth Rufous Hummingbird

I have to admit, though, some kinds of wildlife almost seem like more work than they are worth.  I like to catch the unique markings so I can make a good identification.  But hummingbirds don’t usually sit still for very long.

Rufous in flight
Rufous in flight

If I have enough light and patience, and if luck is on my side, I might capture the little hummer in flight AND in focus!  They are SO fast!  There were 4 of them fighting over the feeders and flowers this evening.

Action shots are my favorites
Action shots are my favorites

These are the treasure shots though.  The captures I never expect.  I’d been intentionally trying to catch the hummer with his tail spread but he just wasn’t cooperating.  The spread tail is a threatening or warning position so they are ready to chase when it’s spread.  I focused on him as he was sitting on the flower and decided to snap at the next movement I saw.  After I took it I thought I’d missed him completely.  I love finding these treasures on my laptop after I download photos from my camera.

Happy snapping!  🙂

March of the solar lights

It really is useless to keep the solar lights out over the winter in Oregon.  Or maybe it’s just that we live in a valley where the sun rises in the south and sets in the south and there are mountains to our south!?  I know the days are getting longer when the solar lights come out of their winter hiding place and line up to soak up the sun.  Only the darkness will reveal which ones are worth keeping.

solar lights
Solar lights getting ready for daylight savings time

I love how the sun can spotlight a tree!

glowing tree
The late afternoon sun spotlights a tree

We are really lacking rain here in the northwest though.  It makes me worry about what summer will be like.  Hopefully we’ll get enough spring rain to fill up the aquifers.

alsea river
Crystal clear Alsea River

The steelhead and smolts are in the river and therefore the ducks are plentiful.  We even saw an eagle take a swipe at some ducks.

common mergansers on log
Common Mergansers
mallard ducks
Mallards display their spring colors

And more hummers are coming to the feeder.

Rufous Hummingbird at feeder
Rufous Hummingbird at feeder

Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead an hour to take full advantage of the vitamin D opportunities!  Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday morning – don’t be late for church!

Sunning Hummingbird

I am right there with ya little hummer!  Doesn’t that sun just warm you to the bones!  MMmmmmmmm

hummingbird sun-worshipping

Hummingbird’s version of drinking her morning cup of hot cocoa on the sunny deck.

hummingbird feeding

I like how you can barely see her wings. Landing gear is up so there’s no intention of sitting at the bar.

Watching the birds is one of my favorite workamping activities!


Orange Critters of Oregon

OSU picked an appropriate color for their school.  These are by no means the only orange critters of Oregon but I’m surprised at how many there are.

Females are mostly green but have rust on their sides
Females are mostly green but have rust on their sides

The Black-headed Grosbeaks have just started showing up.

Male Black-headed Grosbeak
Male Black-headed Grosbeak

He even has a tiny bit of yellow on him.  The female has a little more yellow and the orange is subdued.

Female Black-headed Grosbeak
Female Black-headed Grosbeak

The Orange-bellied Newt is the brightest orange of all these though.

Orange-bellied Newt
Orange-bellied Newt

These newts are VERY poinsonous…so don’t lick them.



This is for the birds!

The duck-alert yesterday morning had me looking for baby birds all day long.  I warned Don that we’d have to check the Newport South Jetty before we left.  But we only saw a few loons and cormorants; no babies.

Geese in Tall Grass

On our way to Newport I swear I saw, not a puddy-tat, but some baby geese.  They were standing next to their parents on the sand at low tide at Eckman Lake (on the bay side).  We didn’t have time to stop at that time so we stopped on our way back up the Alsea River.  There were only a few geese and they were all in the tall grass.  Chicks could hide in here very easily.

Great Blue Heron and Mallard Drake
Great Blue Heron and Mallard Drake

I’d love to see a baby heron.  Don’t they nest way up high though?  I wish I knew where they nested around Waldport.

Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird

I bet the hummers have a nest close by.  They were chasing each other like crazy yesterday.  I was afraid I’d get poked as they zoomed their way through our observation deck.

At one point, I’m sure, they went in one ear and out the other!

Rufous Hummingbird
Now he’s just showing off

It’s pretty hard to keep track of who’s who but I know their colors change depending on the your perspective of their chin.  This may be the same one as in the previous photo.

Osprey Fishing
Osprey Fishing

Then this osprey landed in the tree in front of me!  Panic ensued as the red low-battery warning light on my camera began to flash.  He flew to another tree before he saw something worth diving for; giving me a chance to grab a fresh battery (which didn’t turn out to be fresh – argh!).  But I did get a couple shots.

Osprey Flying with Fish
Flying with his catch

Eventually, I will catch him in the act.  He makes such a big splash when he hits that I am just watching in amazement and can’t seem to focus (literally) on taking a photo.

Osprey eating fish

And I’ll figure out how to focus on him when he’s hiding behind branches as he picks apart his fish.

Rufous Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are always fun to watch.  I didn’t know that the female Rufous was green.  I thought male and female were both brown.  Shows how much I knew.


Female Rufous Hummingbird
Female Rufous

This little female Rufous sat still on the branch and chirped at the males.  They buzzed her and chased each other.  It was like watching an air combat dog fight!

Nosey Hummingbird
Hey! What are you doin’ over there?

It’s important to stay hydrated when fighting.

Rufous Hummingbird
Notice the chin color

This is the same hummer.

Rufous Hummingbird
Same hummer – Can he change the color display at will?

Did you know the male hummingbirds have a flight pattern when courting a female?  The Rufous pattern is a J-shape.


Rufous - bright colors
Bright colors displayed

I was, obviously, standing near the feeder when one was at the feeder and the other had flown away.

All of a sudden I saw him flying straight toward us (me and the other hummer) from across the way.

It was kind of intimidating – that bright red chin, pointy beak and low hum getting louder quickly!  And they are so tiny – it’s like they are in stealth mode!

I was always told that you should never run with a pointy object.  Someone could get their eye poked out!