Quarantine With Hummingbirds
In response to COVID 19 the governor of New Mexico has extended our "stay home" orders until May 15 and, with our case numbers continuing to rise, they will likely be extended again after that.
Can't go anywhere or do anything. What's a photographer to do?
The answer is yard work. Lots and lots of yard work. I'm sure that some of you photographers out there can empathize. There's an upward limit to the number of photos I can take of flowers in my yard but going out to the types of places I normally visit is pretty much the opposite of staying home. As tempting as it is to blow off the governor's orders and go do whatever I want, I also abide by the motto "Live to fight another day", which means that sometimes it's best to lie low.
A Time To Get Caught Up
Last summer I got very excited about photographing the hummingbirds in my yard. So excited that I now have about 6000 images to sort through. To be fair, most of them aren't great because photographing hummingbirds is difficult even under ideal conditions. That being said, out of 6000 attempts there are a good handful that pretty decent and I have only sorted through and processed a small percentage of them.
The hummingbirds have once again returned to my yard but not yet in the swarms that will arrive mid-summer so, in the meantime, I've been sorting through last year's images.
Hummingbird migration in New Mexico
The first hummingbirds to arrive in my neck of the woods (Meadow Lake, New Mexico) are the male Black Chinned Hummingbirds. A handful of males will always show up to scout the area before the females arrive. This usually happens around April 15th-ish. Hummingbirds will return to the same nesting and feeding areas every year so it's important to get those feeders up the moment the boys arrive so they know they have found their summer home and don't go looking elsewhere for food.
In mid-summer other species of hummingbirds, including Rufus and Broad-tailed, will arrive. Once this happens, my yard looks to be under siege by swarms of giant insects except they're actually tiny birds! At this point, I will be refilling three feeders every day and going through five pounds of sugar a week.
Making hummingbird food is easy but it's also an exact science. To read my tips and tricks for attracting and feeding hummingbirds, click here.
I am DeAnna Vincent, fine art and portrait photographer in Los Lunas, New Mexico. These are the photos from my everyday adventures.