No Butterflies on the Butterfly Bush, But …

This gallery contains 8 photos.… at least one Rufous Hummingbird has found a use for buddleja davidii … as a perch! Let’s hope it grows on them a bit more than that. This lady is aware that she’s being photographed from above. Why else the RCA dog-like tilt of her adorable head?


After a particularly long-lived and intense infatuation with the Anise Hyssop, the Bee Balm has also reclaimed the affections of the Trochilidae family. At least, for an hour on a scorching hot August 2, whem not one but two dueling Rufous Hummingbirds vied for the rights to drink. I have the blurred photos to prove their clashes, and the noisy bickering between both are still ringing in my ears.


It’s poetry in motion, and not easy to capture. So moments of (relative) immotion were a blessing. Here, Red is going for her second attempt at the Bee Balm.


She’s hiding out in the bee balm from her rival. Surprisingly, given the heat of that day, both were expending a considerable amount of energy chasing each other around. Considering that hummingbirds spend something like 70% of their time resting and 30% flying/hunting/eating, these two have used up their quotas for the week.


I guess the nectar that tastes the sweetest is the kind that’s just on the edge of spoiling. Take a look at this Bee Balm … the first round of flowers is almost ready to be made into potpourri.


There’s nothing that challenges me more than to be able to see and capture these teaspoon-sized birds. They’re always a delight to see, and an even bigger plus to be able to photograph clearly against very busy backgrounds — when they let me get close enough to do so!


This is the first time that I’ve been able to photograph Rufous Hummingbirds in the backyard during a sunny day. They usually confine their feedings in our backyard to very early in the morning, or during the evening, around 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Midday feedings are rare; at least, that’s been my experience.


And one last distance shot of the Anise Hyssop being pollinated by one of the two Rufouses. The aerial gymnastics that these amazing little wonders perform to drink nectar is amazing. Taken with the 500mm telephoto lens on the second floor from 20 feet away and through a pane of glass.



19 thoughts on “No Butterflies on the Butterfly Bush, But …

    • we have had a few butterflies, but they never land.

      the odd moths come by (we even had hummingbird moths show up … but it’s always too dark and they never stop flying — if you thought a hummingbird in flight was hard to capture, think again with the hummingbird moth!). we did have plenty of bees, thanks to the flowers in the backyard and front.

      I read somewhere that Rufous hummingbird populations have dropped by 60% in some areas. A few of these feisty birds have certainly entertained us this spring/summer (they have migrated to warmer parts as of last week), as have the Anna’s hummingbirds, who are permanent residents.

      do share your photos of your hummers! 😀


    • we went a bit overboard and basically built a hummingbird garden this summer … so no chance of us being able to hand feed them with nectar, and they basically ignored the nectar feeders except for the time when we upped the sugar content from 25% to 35% … that held their interest enough to battle over it … for a few days, anyway. 😀

      on the up side, the abundance of hummer flowers gave us many opportunities to capture these beauties. some even let us get close to them to photograph at close range (probably the females! the males are extremely combative, and will get even closer than the females, but they won’t let you take their photos :D)

      lots of patience is required. you’ll get your shots! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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