Rufous Hummingbird hovering by Rocky Mountain Bee Plant

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Female Rufous Hummingbird Rufous Hummingbird – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or set up

I guess I could quote what BNA has to say about Rufous Hummingbirds and how they are known as North America’s “extremist” hummingbirds, how they are the ABA Bird of the Year, how they make the longest avian migration measured by body length or have a very short breeding season but the longest day-length seen by any hummingbird but all that stuff is already out there so let me write about this one individual Rufous Hummingbird and my observations of it.

It had a favorite perch that looked out over its favorite patch of Rocky Mountain Bee Plant. The Rufous Hummingbird carefully watched over those plants and would streak in to defend its territory whenever another hummingbird appeared and it did it with extreme speed. The bird was pugnacious, fast and flashy and chased away bees, butterflies, moths, a Loggerhead Shrike and any thing else that dared to approach its patch and I think if I had stepped out of the truck to smell the Bee Plant it would have used its sharp bill to make me leave its territory. And I would have retreated from the tiny but feisty bird.

She was one “Mean Mamma” and I wish her luck on her migration south.




  1. Elephant's Child August 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Love the determined gaze you have captured. Thank you.

    • Utahbooklover August 17, 2014 at 12:20 am

      You said it (and I agree) — good work Mia.

  2. Patty Chadwick August 16, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Oh, Mia! What a great image…and to think you risked your life taking it!!! I have seen a Ruby-Throated hummer take on a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly…-and BACKOFF!!! That combiation of Hummingbird and Rocky Mountain Bee Plant is so perfect….always a treat to see.

  3. judy watson August 16, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Great shot, Mia!

  4. Alan Kearney August 16, 2014 at 7:40 am

    What a gorgeous creature, and so beautifully captured ! Well done!

  5. Lois Bryan August 16, 2014 at 7:40 am

    He is a beauty … gorgeous shot!!! I just spent the morning trying to get one single decent hummingbird shot … unsuccessfully … so I am especially appreciate of your great camera work!!!! Bravo!!

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