Hummingbirds Are Fast!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019,

Hummingbirds are fast. I mean really, really fast. This hummingbird, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, has an average of 55 wing beats per second. During mating season, when the males are showing off for their female counterparts, that number can jump as high as 200 wing beats per second. Two hundred wing beats per second! That’s amazing. They even hold a Guinness World Record for that feat.

These photos weren’t taken during mating season so this bird is probably only working those wings at a mere 55 beats per second. Even still, that’s plenty fast. All three of these photos were taken in the span of a single second. I shot them with a shutter speed of 1/1600th of a second and it still wasn’t fast enough to freeze those wings. As you can see, some blurring of the wings still occurs. Hummingbirds are fast! JK

JK

Carolina Saddlebags

Friday, September 27, 2019,

This is a male Carolina Saddlebags Dragonfly, (aka Tramea carolina), that I photographed in a salt marsh in Oceanside. I am no one’s idea of a dragonfly expert but I do happen to have one on staff. Well, okay, I don’t actually have any staff to speak of but I do know a few experts in different fields and they manage to make me sound informed. Annette, my dragonfly expert, has been identifying these amazing insects for me since 2014. She has her own blog, Dragonfly Dazed, where you can find dozens of great photographs of both dragonflies and damselflies. Check it out, it’s pretty cool. JK

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A Hummingbird Enjoying Canna Lily

Thursday, September 26, 2019,

Here are a pair of photographs of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird enjoying the flowers of a Canna Lily. These photos were taken at the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside. I see Hummingbirds at other locations but I MNSA is where I seem to have the best luck when it comes to photographing these little speed demons. JK

JK