Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tiny Hummingbirds!

After several visits to the Montlake Fill trying to get a good view of the hummingbird chicks, I finally succeeded!

Yesterday morning I got there just as the mother was finishing up a feeding, with her back directly blocking any sight of the babies.  Rats.  Since it can take up to half an hour or more between feedings, I took off for a stroll around the Loop Trail.  Over by the lake front there is some temporary fencing, and I spotted a large bird strolling around inside it, foraging.

It was the female pheasant that's been living at the Fill for at least two years now, successfully avoiding the coyote.

Next, I spotted a group of Green-winged Teals on the southwest pond.  They are a favorite of mine with their lovely plumage:

The female is typically not so colorful, but she does have the distinctive teal-green feathers that give them their name (this section of feathers is called the speculum).

When I got back to the hummingbird nest, the mom was nowhere to be seen.  So I parked myself for a while, and got a lot of practice with the camera, seeing how quickly I could zoom in on the nest.  I waited.  And waited.  I was nearly ready to give up when two women stopped by -- I'd met them a few days earlier and had shown them the nest, and they wanted to see the babies, too.  So we chatted and watched a bit longer, and I'm so glad they turned up to keep me there, for after another five minutes or so, the mother returned.

For once there was no twig blocking my view, and the mom did not block my view of the chicks, who lifted their heads up enough to be seen, and thanks to all that earlier practice, I got zoomed in and focused in time.

I took about three dozen photos but they all look pretty much like this one.  There were at least two, and possibly three chicks.  I also managed to take this short video:

Hurrah!  Such a wonderful sight.


  1. So cool! These little birds usually flit around so fast it's hard to see them at all. You got lucky for sure.

  2. Replies
    1. Weird, it worked yesterday. It's also on my facebook feed, should be working fine there. Will also try to reload it here.