Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

This gallery contains 3 photos. This string–which is being used to give a bit of posture to some bell pepper plants that were flopping over–is looking a little worse for wear, but it’s still one of this male Anna’s Hummingbird’s favourite perches. Photographed in the backyard through the sunroom glass during the early evening of August 26.

Frayed - Bird on a Wire

You’d think that with all the ruckus he was making (he was using lots of fowl language at very loud volumes), proclaiming his territory to one and all (including the non-avians like ourselves), that he would at least lift his head for a pose. But no, he was playing coy. Or maybe he was unaware of the paparazzi from above? Doubtful.

Frayed - Bird on a Wire

And this is definitely a male … his iridescent pink balaclava (the Anna’s hummingbirds never do anything in small measures, pardon the expression) is definitely coming in! Odd that he likes to perch on this string, which is quite close to the ground. Thankfully, no kitty prowled the garden tonight! More examples of fray can be found here.

Frayed - Bird on a Wire


23 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

    • they could be playing coy :D. flowers that they like the nectar of (anise hyssop, lemon frost, fragrant honeysuckle, bee balm, even flowering arugula, flowering blackberry, flowering red currant) are helpful … more so, I have found, than the nectar feeders!


      • Oh, I have plenty of luck with feeders. We go through 25+ pounds of sugar between early June and late August (11 feeders). Even now we have 10-15 hummers flying around our back yard alone, and more in the front.

        And yes, many of the flowers we have attract hummers, and they do feed on them in addition to the feeders.

        In case you’ve not seen, and if you’re interested . . .

        And this of them landing on my finger (you can cut to 1:40 minute mark on the second video) . . .

        Annas here are listed as preferring forested areas, and I’m not near one. Of the 11 species in Colorado, I have only seen five for sure.


      • oh I have seen your videos (one of your posts) before … simply amazing! 😀

        I can’t get more than two hummers in the backyard at once … a battle royal ensues in about 3 seconds. even with two different nectar feeders at opposite ends, and a hummingbird garden on the front lawn flower beds.

        We get Anna’s and Rufouses out on the West Coast (the latter departed for Mexico about two weeks ago).

        I’ve never had the pleasure of having one land on my hand, but a rather feisty Anna’s male did give me a severe chiding this evening (I was standing next to the Anise Hyssop), and he got within 8 inches of my face … and then decided, what the hay, he was going to feed anyway not a foot away and with his back turned to me! For about thirty seconds; that was the extent of his bravado. 😀

        the other male Anna’s he was chasing around left after repeated attempts to feed.


      • They get more tolerant of each other (relatively speaking) when preparing for the migration. Ultimately they need to “bulk up”, so to speak, for the migration. Early and late in the season they seem to guard the feeders a bit more vigorously.

        That said, I’ve seen hummingbirds actually pull feathers from each other. The majority of the confrontations are just them squaring off, but occasionally there is contact, and not gentle, either.


      • so … they have to reserve their fat reserves and energy for flight, not fight. I get it 😀

        that won’t happen with the Anna’s, as they are (more or less) permanent residents. 😀

        wow! I have seen videos of bills poking heads or feet whacking heads, but not feather removal! yikes! can’t be too hard on your fellow hummer, though — not good for the continuation of the species! 🙂


      • As I am pretty close (3-4 feet away) I use my 105mm Macro lens.

        I could get closer, but then they are too fast to track. Also, when I am closer they react to the shutter noise.


      • I usually put my camera in silent mode (which is quieter, but not silent).

        that’s amazing detail for 3-4 feet away. I’m lucky to capture even a fraction of this kind of detail with my 100mm F2.8 macro lens!


    • this little guy is the current king of the hill in my backyard. he shooed out another male Anna’s and chided me up and down tonight, and then when he couldn’t shoo me, he then decided to feed from the Anise Hyssop anyway–with his back turned to me (I was less than a foot away).

      it’s quite amusing … a sort of “in your face” maneuver. no I didn’t have the camera, but the telephoto lens was on it, which would have made photographing the moment useless, anyway 😀


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