Broad-tailed Hummingbird – a photographic lifer

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Perched female Broad-tailed HummingbirdPerched female Broad-tailed Hummingbird – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/3200, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited or set up

Photographing hummingbirds in the wild* can be daunting and fast paced, so fast paced that there are times I don’t often have time to properly ID them in the field.

Yesterday while photographing hummingbirds I noticed the plumage on the back of one bird looked different but it wasn’t until I was able to view my images on my computer screen that I realized that bird was a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird which is a photographic lifer for me. I don’t normally count a bird as a “lifer” unless I have photographed it. So I was tickled to find out I had another lifer even though I didn’t ID the bird in the field.


*I don’t photograph hummingbirds at set ups which are elaborate outdoor “studios” that some times have fake backgrounds, feeders with flowers as props in front of or covering the feeders and a multitude of flash units set up. That isn’t my style of photography at all, I want to photograph my subjects in the wild doing what they want to do when they want to do it where they want to do it.



  1. Julie G. August 31, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Exquisite! Hummingbirds are such fascinating little birds. Congratulations on the lifer!

  2. Humming Bird Lover August 31, 2014 at 9:04 am


    Great Photo! You know I love these special little jewels! Thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

  3. Mia McPherson August 30, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Thank you all for your comments on this hummingbird image!

  4. Kathie August 29, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Mia, congrats on such a nice find! I don’t mind photographing the birds at my feeders but I always love it when I find the birds in the wild doing what they “naturally” do!

  5. Bill Richmond August 29, 2014 at 10:58 am

    A good achievement. Fine image!! Is this a full frame image or was there a small crop?

    • Mia McPherson August 30, 2014 at 6:52 am

      Bill, there was a crop with this frame.

      • Bill Richmond August 31, 2014 at 4:28 pm

        Thanks for your reply Mia, Much appreciated!!

  6. Jolanta August 29, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Sweet picture! Thank you 🙂

  7. Tami August 29, 2014 at 9:48 am

    How exciting to capture a lifer in such a gorgeous photo! Congrats 🙂

  8. Stu August 29, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Congratulations Mia!! And a stunning Photograph too..

  9. Patty Chadwick August 29, 2014 at 7:23 am

    A” lifer” for you, a treat for me….beautiful little bird!

    • Elephant's Child August 29, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      And me. And the size of the treat dwarfs the bird which provided it. Thank you.

  10. Denise August 29, 2014 at 6:25 am

    A kid on Christmas morning is how I feel whenever I capture something for the first time. Good for you. I agree capturing wildlife in their natural environment, doing what they do best, keeps the heart in the picture. Congratulations on another first.

  11. Carroll Tarvin August 29, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Wonderful image and wonderful philosophy. Thank You.

  12. Julie Brown August 29, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Congrats on the lifer, Mia. She is a beauty. I have only seen and photographed this species in Colorado. Nice view of the wing and tail for length comparison. Every detail is apparent here. I agree with not wanting to photograph birds in elaborate setups. It is much more fun for me to find them in the wild using natural light, although I do use flash in my backyard while sitting behind my tripod.

  13. Bob Bushell August 29, 2014 at 5:19 am

    Beautiful image Mia.

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