If you’re a hummingbird lover then Tracy Johnson has your newest favorite Instagram account. Using a Nikon D4 camera and her trusty nectar dish, Johnson films her flock of furry best friends in astonishing detail. Her photos and videos are incredible to see, but her comments are equally as enjoyable. I’ve attached a few of my favorites below, but to see them all you can visit her Instagram at @HummingbirdsXOXO. (Feature photo: source)
Slo mo iPhone video: That beautiful moment when your arch nemesis awkwardly tries to drink from the space where there isn’t a feeder port… (The yellow shapes are flowers: the space to put your beak is in the center of the petals) The bird sitting down is “Merlin” a very sweet tempered and gentle Rufous Hummingbird. The one who comes flying in and lands is “Morgan: Merlins Evil Twin” the guy who always claims the feeders as his own, chases the other birds every chance he gets, attacks them with his feet and his beak and basically spends all of his time living up to the being the typical Aggressive and bossy Rufous Hummingbird. Don’t worry Morgan, I won’t tell anybody about your mishap: oops! I guess I just did ?? oh! And Flash has a cameo at the end… He flies in from the right: Male Annas Hummingbird.
Here’s Carlos, a male Annas Hummingbird, giving me the stare down… He’s one of the few birds who can’t seem to remember me on a daily basis. Maybe he has the same problem that Drew Barrymores character had in that movie “50 first dates”? Anyway, he’s cool even if we have to make friends every single day. Speaking of friends: that mouse who made her home in my car and brought her babies with her? According to the Body shop, she ate most of my wires (just like spaghetti!) and the backseat cushioning. Guess how much it is costing to repair?! $3800. What the what??? Fortunately #statefarm is covering the charges. Who knew that some car insurance companies cover mice damage? I am soooo happy that I don’t have to pay for it. There are so many other things I would spend $3800 on if I had it! Like more bird feeders, and sugar, and a beautiful bubbler fountain and trips to beautiful places. And food. And shelter. And gas… ☺️ anyway: I went online to do some research to try to keep the mice away from my car once the returns from the body shop and there are some weird things out there… Like for example: fox urine. Yes. You heard me correctly: FOX URINE. ?? apparently foxes (fox?) enjoy eating mice. So the mice get scared when they smell the urine. I think I might get scared too… According to the Internet it stinks to high heaven. Another option is moth balls. I think I might fill my car to the brim with moth balls just like that car commercial that is running where they fill the car with skittles? Just like that but I’ll carve out a Tracy shaped spot on the drivers side. I also purchased a device that should send out noises that mice don’t like. Fingers crossed one of these options works! ??? those mice still haven’t sewn me a ball gown, nor have they turned into horses to pull the carriage made out of a pumpkin. So I’m thinking of breaking off my friendship with them. Nobody enjoys a one sided friendship ❤️
A video posted by Tracy Johnson (@hummingbirdsxoxo) on
Sometimes Flash likes to keep his wings running: just in case he needs to make a quick getaway …. ??⚡️ two Annas Hummingbirds at the Featherbucks drink truck this morning ☕️☕️☕️ did you know that hummingbirds don’t just drink nectar? They eat bugs too. Lots and lots of bugs ??? And drink tree sap. And oddly enough: “hummingbirds have been seen sticking their bills into ashes, sand, seawater, and the fluids of fruit. ” (Thank you Bird Watches Digest for this piece of info and the following quote) “it’s been proposed that the reason for these activities is to replace the calcium and other minerals lost during egg production” so interesting! This is just one reason that if you find a wounded hummingbird you should contact a local bird rehabber. If a hummingbird is fed only nectar the bird will not survive. Bird rehabbers have access to the tools needed to feed the birds and help them to get healthy so they can be set free again. That having been said: field guide to hummingbirds has a lot of really great information about hummingbirds in need of “Rescue”. According to them: a lot of hummingbirds that people find on the ground are NOT in need of rescue! Please read more here https://fieldguidetohummingbirds.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/rescuing-baby-hummingbirds/ If you do drop off a hummingbird with a rehabber, or a pet shop or a vet: please leave your name and phone number so they can contact you if they need any more info ?
Slow motion iPhone video: so the noises are what the birds sound like in slow motion ?Flash was not being very neighborly at Featherbucks this morning… In his defense: it was first thing in the morning and sometimes it’s hard for me to feel neighborly before I have my morning coffee ☕️☕️☕️☕️ one immature male Annas hummingbird, one female Annas and one male Annas.
A video posted by Tracy Johnson (@hummingbirdsxoxo) on
This is Merlin: he’s a male Rufous Hummingbird and such a little sweetie. It’s funny because the Rufous hummingbirds are usually super aggressive and defend their territory viciously. Merlin is a lover not a fighter ❤️ he comes flying in and tries to sit down immediately. He won’t fight back if anybody bullies him… He just calmly flies away and tries again a few moments later. I think we can all learn a few things from the way that Merlin handles conflict. It takes two to fight. Sometimes the best thing a person (even a feathered person) can do is to take a jaunt around the block to cool off. It so easy to get really riled up in interactions with others… Spouses… Children… Random people we cross paths with in the world. I think the best thing we can learn in life is Peace. I imagine if we all did like Merlin does, we would get into less fights with the people we love, less battles of will with two year olds, less strife in general. A stroll around the block is necessary for all of us at times. And I guarantee that after you take your stroll and come back home: things will look more clear to you. Everything will seem less life and death and anger. So: what do you guys think? Should we all just agree to A “walk (or fly) around the block” policy? I think Merlin would agree with this idea ?✌?️and PS: look at his adorable eyelashes!! ???❤️
This is one of the new male Annas who showed up at the feeders recently. That little patch removed from his feathers? It’s about the size of a couple of tiny feet… I’m guessing this bird had to battle another male to get to our feeders. Which is how he came to be missing a few feathers. Hummingbirds are very territorial. They will defend their bit of land very aggressively. This is a matter of life and death to them because they need access to flowers and water and females to mate with. The only reason you will see a lot of males in the same place is if there is a lot of food available. Did you notice the bit of pollen on his beak? Adorable ? A lot of you have been asking how I’m able to get the photos that I get. I use a Nikon D610 camera and a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. Hummingbirds can be difficult to photograph because they move so quickly. My tips for you are the following: be patient. Hummingbirds are creatures of habit: if you see a bird land on a particular branch, hang out for a few minutes and see if he lands there again. If it’s a good perch he will be back. If you see him land there a couple of times over a half an hour or so: get your camera out and stand close by. The goal isn’t to get all up in the birds face (this is why you need a zoom lens ☺️) stand near a tree and try to blend. It takes time to get photos of them. I will sometimes stand near a perch for 30-40 minutes and not get one shot. If you do get some photos: over half of them will likely be blurry. It’s just how it goes! But with patience and a little bit of determination, the right equipment and lots of practice you can make photos like this: I promise. Now: let’s talk about something I didn’t think I had to mention: I love that some of you have been sharing my videos and photos with your friends, however, the decent thing to do is to give me credit for them. If you post my photos or videos without giving me credit you are stealing them from me. (I don’t put any information on my photos or videos currently: if you guys don’t stop posting them as your own I will be forced to put a signature on everything). Please don’t make me do that. ?❤️✌?️ have a beautiful day! ????
A photo posted by Tracy Johnson (@hummingbirdsxoxo) on
This is my friend “Flash” he is a male Annas Hummingbird. The types of hummingbirds who come to my feeders are: Annas Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbirds, Allens, Calliope, Black Chinned, and the occasional “hybrid” which is when the birds have two different types of hummingbird parents (these are the best because they are so unique and interesting) Before I started photographing hummingbirds I thought that their neck feathers were one color… Because in the sunshine all I would see would be a bright flash of red or fushia… Or orange. The birds were never close enough for me to see the details. Only after I started taking close ups did I see the entire spectrum of the rainbow held within their iridescent feathers. (Now I call them “flying rainbows”) The male Annas Hummingbirds have gorgeous neck and head feathers. People ask how I can tell the difference between the birds.. And how I can tell which are male and which are female. For the most part: the fully grown male hummingbirds have a full head of brightly colored feathers. While the females have either polka dots or one small patch of color just on their necks. It’s harder to tell when the birds are just littles.. Because the young males look very similar to the females. When the male birds are “juveniles” they have only patchy polka dots of bright colors. It’s only when they are fully grown that they have this gorgeous full “Gorget” of colored feathers (head and neck feathers). As for telling these birds apart: when they come and visit me and sit down on my hand to drink from the hand feeders, I have a chance to study them. I get to know them the same as I would get to know a new friend. Just with less talking and more blinking ☺️? They all have subtle feather differences. And their personalities are incredibly different. That having been said: there are times when I’m left wondering who just came to visit me. ??????❤️