This slang term used to describe pilots of jet fighter aircraft is the term I frequently associate with hummingbirds. Their speed and agility in the air is nothing less than astonishing, and their flight techniques never cease to amaze me. Because they are only seasonal visitors to this area, I try to photograph the flying wonders several times while they are in residence, from mid-April until late September. Last week, I did "hummingbird isometrics", hand-holding my 70-200 mm lens during three different sessions with them, yielding some interesting results.
The first and third sessions, I worked in shutter priority, using 1/200 of a second shutter speed. This will stop a moderate amount of action, but certainly not the wings of a hummingbird. Thus, the blur. But you can get some really interesting effects, as shown below. The beak seems to be piercing the air.
Luckily, that shutter speed caught the tongue of this rufous hummingbird, hovering.
Another female jet jockey was working as "feeder guard" and already has some damage to her tail feathers.
The female shown below has also seen some action, as reflected by the tears in her flight feathers. According to Hummingbirds.net, the rufous are the most maneuverable of all the hummingbirds, and they also have the longest migration route. They have been seen in every state and Canadian provence except Quebec and Prince Edward Island. I was able to stop the wing action using 1/5,000 second shutter speed.
until next Monday,
a passion for the [email protected]