Helpful Hummingbird

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Photo Log / Photography / Wildlife

Sunday, April 29, 2018. It was an overcast Sunday morning. The echium were in bloom and the hummingbirds were ecstatic about the easy pickins. The low clouds softened the light enough to reduce contrast while still letting the colors glow. A perfect time to try out my new 200-500mm lens.

One particular breakfasting bird was darting from flower to flower on an echium branch that was set before a deep shadow cast by a nearby oak. Ahhhh . . . she was moving too fast for me to follow, frame, and focus. Click. Missed. Click. Missed. Again and again. I was tiring from hand-holding seven pounds of camera and lens (I’d already been muscling this optical beast for 45 minutes) and was just about to give up when she disappeared.

A moment later I heard a buzz behind me. I turned and there she was, hovering just above head height about six feet away. Watching me.

We locked onto each other and held our gaze long enough to be in sync before she flew a wide, slow circle back to her echium stalk and held her position against the dark background long enough for me to compose and focus. One. Two. Three. Four. Five shots. Then she turned toward me as if to say, “Got it?” I whispered, “Thank you,” and she resumed her floral buffet. Here’s the best of the five.

(Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR zoom.)

DSC_5535_DxO11FC blog

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. Frank says

    What a spectacular shot! And I believe it happened just as you tell it–with the help of your beautiful subject.


  2. wandaginner says

    Wow – the phtography is excellent but thestory is particularly compelling. I’m really enjoying these – thanks for posting.



  3. Gary Zweig says

    Another AWESOME picture!!!!!!!! Soon you’ll be in a league of your own😁👌👍

    Sent from my iPhone



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