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  • Emily

The Birds

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

This is our first guest post featuring Misty Pettitt. Needless to say, Misty is a fabulous photographer. Along with her husband Rob and canine companions, Misty is an avid hiker and nature enthusiast. We hope to feature more of her observations in the future.


Like many people, I’ve been home a LOT more than usual lately. Although I miss seeing my friends and going to movies, there are some silver linings, and one of them is the hummingbirds that come to visit our feeder every day. At first, I tried to name the ones I could tell apart (one was called Dolph, because he looked like a dolphin, and one was called Mango because he was tropical-colored, and another one I called Finn just because I liked the name) but after counting nineteen hummingbirds sitting together, waiting their turn at the feeder, I gave up trying to keep everyone straight.

Now, I just observe their behavior and watch them interact with each other. Have you ever noticed that although they’re cute, hummingbirds can be pretty rude to each other? I’ve noticed one bird will sit in a nearby tree and guard the feeder, and if any other birds come near, the guard bird takes off and chirrups angrily at the newcomer, pestering them until they leave. However, I’ve also seen four birds at the feeder together, and they all seem to be getting along, so maybe the rude birds are just giving the rest of them a bad name 😉

Did you know that hummingbirds are the only bird that can fly backwards? I thought that sounded crazy until I watched my local flock performing all kinds of acrobatic maneuvers, including flying backwards. I couldn’t quite capture this on camera, because there’s no way to tell which direction a bird is flying from a still photo, but I have managed to capture quite a few portraits of my backyard hummingbirds with my zoom lens, while they were sitting still and waiting their turn to feed. This way, we can see hummingbirds up close, without risking their temper. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Scroll through to check out the gallery:


Challenge: hang a hummingbird feeder or bird seed feeder outside your window and let us know how it goes.

We would love to hear about or see the beautiful birds in your backyard!

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