No!! It can’t be!! I swear to goodness that it was just a few weeks ago that I anxiously awaited for summer to arrive, an occasion I always mark by the first hummingbirds to show up in my yard. That is always right around May 7 - 10, and this year they arrived right on schedule. I’m lucky to have Ruby-throated Hummingbirds around all summer, even though there never has been confirmed breeding in my part of the state. I’m sure they do breed here though, as I even have had the males do their courtship flights in my backyard most years, including this year.
The time the hummingbirds leave in the fall isn’t quite as “clockwork” as when they arrive in the spring, but it is in September at some point when they start disappearing. Already, it’s been over a week since I’ve seen a male, as they’re typically the first to leave. I still have a number of females and first-year birds in my yard, even counting 6 zipping around and chasing each other at one point this weekend. However, I know they could now disappear at any time, so today, I spent some time trying to photograph them before they head south.
We built our house five years ago, and I did all the landscaping myself. I purposely planted many different types of plants that would attract hummingbirds, and it’s certainly been successful. However, most of my photos in the yard have been at either this massive honeysuckle I have, or have been of birds perched in trees. I’ve noticed them really using the flowers on my hostas lately, so I decided to try to focus on flight shots around my hostas today. They’re certainly not shy, as they’re more concerned about defending their own little flower patches in the yard than they are about the weird guy with the camera, so it didn’t take long for me to get a number of shots today.
However, in bird photography, it’s one thing to get a “number of shots”, vs. getting some GOOD shots! I did get a few that I was pretty happy with, especially since they are so different than the other hummingbird photos I’ve gotten in my yard.
I’m hoping they’re still around my yard this weekend, but they could very well be gone by then. Oh well…only 8 more months until they show up again! Gotta love South Dakota winters!!