Last week for a few brief seconds I was pleasantly surprised to have a Rufous Hummingbird in my viewfinder while up in the Wasatch Mountains. I’ve spent a lot of time up in the mountains since May and this was my first opportunity up close with this species of hummingbirds.
Perched immature Rufous Hummingbird – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Rufous Hummingbirds do not breed in Utah but these delightful and amusing flying jewels do migrate through the state. The bird activity in the clump of fruit trees was hot and heavy that morning when this Rufous flew and and I wondered if it came in to check the activity out. I’ll never know of course but I have had hummingbirds appear to do just that during my time in the field.
It was wonderful of the Rufous Hummingbird to land in a location where the foliage in the background had some rusty tones in the leaves that echoed that same color in its plumage.
Immature Rufous Hummingbird lifting off – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
The Rufous Hummingbird stayed on the perch long enough to look around in all directions before it lifted its wings and flew away. I was thrilled that in this photo I caught the very tip of its slender tongue outside of its bill and the wings in a lifted position.
Even though I photographed many other birds that day this hummingbird would have made the trip up into the mountains worth it all by its tiny self.
Life is good.