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Rufous Hummingbird - November 15, 2008

Rufous Hummingbird at Crafton, Allegheny County, PA
 
This outstanding adult male Rufous Hummingbird appeared in a Crafton yard in early August (!). Despite the best efforts of the homeowner, the bird remained unknown to the birding community at large until mid-November, when it was finally mentioned to the staff at Powdermill Avian Research Center. It was banded 13 November, and the homeowner graciously opened her yard and home to all birders hoping to catch a glimpse.
 
The bird was obviously very visible and approachable, as evidenced by these photos. The day I was there, it was pretty dark with rain and (mostly) heavy overcast, which made for some slow shutter speeds, but despite this I have often thought that overcast (particularly bright overcast which was lacking that day) has real advantages for hummingbird photography. The low contrast brings out a lot of subtlety of color that is simply blown out in direct sunlight. Anyway, even though it was a “poor” day for photography, it had its advantages for this particular subject.

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I like the contrast between the following two images, which are basically the same pose but one was with flash and one was without. The flashed photo has the expected (and usually frowned upon) “ghosting” in the wings but I like the effect anyway, even though it is an artificial effect.

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PS -- For you digital photography aficionados, these are the first serious pictures I have taken with the newly released Canon 50D. Highly recommended...

Unless explicitly indicated otherwise in the photo caption, all photos on this website were taken by and are 2003-2013 by Geoff Malosh. Unauthorized usage of these photographs for any purpose is strictly forbidden. If you are interested in using any photo for publication or if you are interested in obtaining a print, contact me at pomarine -AT- earthlink -DOT- net.