Monday, March 21, 2011

Bahama Woodstar! - 12 Mar 2011

Up this Saturday morning at 6:30 so I headed back out to the courtyard of the Stones Throw Away B&B.  I wasn't sure what I'd find, so I grabbed both the D300 and the scope and headed out.  A quick walk around the perimeter of the house yielded the usual suspects: Northern Mockingbird, Eurasian-collared Dove, Bananaquit, an American Redstart, a Prairie Warbler, and a surprise Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  The best bird, however, was the immature male Bahama Woodstar still sitting on the same branch as yesterday!

It was still early, so I was a bit concerned about spooking it w/ the flash, but it paid me little attention, as long as I kept my distance.  So, as it sat on the branch and began to soak up the morning sun, I took the opportunity to get some pics w/ the D300 and the Better Beamer. At most it fluttered its wings, which allowed for a nice view of its rufous shoulder patches, which are normally obscured by wings except in flight.

Once the sunlight hit the hibiscus the little guy began to feed.  I did my best to capture some flight shots as it fed on the tubed flowers of the hibiscus, and managed a few keepers.

Symbiotic relationships!

Watching this little hummingbird feed was a nice study in symbiotic relationships.  Note how the forehead of the bird contacts with the pollen-laden anthers of the Hibiscus.  The plant provides the nectar to give the hummingbird energy, while the hummingbird provides the necessary transport of the pollen from one plant to the five-lobed red stigma at the tip of a neighboring plant.  Its a win-win for both, and I was fortunate to actually capture some images of the transfer in action!

Allen Chartier commneted that this shot from behind "shows this immature male with an interesting mix of juvenile (buff-tipped) and adult tail feathers. The video also shows the apparent wing molt where the outer (p10) is old (grayish) compared with the rest which are shiny black"
Once the little guy was done feeding, and chasing off a gorgeous, breeding-plumaged male bird, it was time to see if I could digiscope it.  Lucky for me the little hummer had a favorite perch in this bare shrub, so it was just a matter of putting the scope on the branch and wait for it to return.

I wouldn't have to wait for long.  As soon as it fed, it would buzz off into the lot next door to chase away any other hummers, then return directly to the branch.  I was able to get several nice portrait shots of it by digiscoping from the closest distance of 15'.

I took dozens of pics of the bird as it preened and fluffed its feathers, then decided to capture this video.  The sun was ducking behind clouds, so it was neat to watch its iridescence come into view as the sun popped out.  I stitched several small videos to produce this composite:

Robin came down a bit later and we enjoyed some nice views through the scope together.  I then moved the scope a bit to the left so that I could get some pics w/o a distracting background.

The morning was beginning to get late, and I felt that I had overstayed my welcome long enough, so I left the little guy to continue his routine.  There would be a wedding reception this evening and I watched with a smile as the wedding party sat next to the very same bush that the little Bahama Woodstar was perched in, and never noticed...

Oh, well, time to rent a car and explore the island.

More pics of the little hummingbird can be found here.


Quasar said...

As usual ... Very nice shots.
Randy in Lansing

Quasar said...

Great pics ... As usual.
Randy in Lansing

Kevin said...

Great work Jerry the detail in the Woodstar is impeccable we have to go on a Digiscoping jaunt one of these days it would be a blast.

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