Lady Rufous Returns

This post contains 5 photos. This is the female Rufous Hummingbird who ruled the backyard roost for two straight weeks, sipping from the kniphofia. Unlike the males (who seem to prefer sugar water), female hummers seem to be less fastidious and will drink both sugar water and flower nectar (note: the males will sip from flowers, often as “a show of force/ownership”). This gives me more photo opportunities as well! Photographed on May 25.

Lady Rufous Returns

Tiny feet on twining vines: no Rufous hummingbird has “owned the backyard” as long she (she still comes back every few days)–even chasing off the resident adult male Anna’s hummingbird on her first challenge! I am about 5 feet away from her, and she really doesn’t give two hoots about me being so close. Photographed on the evening of May 27.

Lady Rufous Returns

The previous shots were taken with my 500mm telephoto lens, but my first encounters with this little red-and-green lady were taken with my 100mm macro prime lens (yes, she was that unconcerned with me being so close to her and the fragrant honeysuckle!) She was also more than a little pushy with the other backyard regulars, making the Black-Capped Chickadees, Downy Woodpecker, and Northwestern Crows more than a little uncomfortable in her presence! Rufous hummingbirds may be small (they are even smaller than the Anna’s), but their feistiness more than makes up for it! We saw plenty of proof that size doesn’t mean a thing! Photographed on May 23.

Lady Rufous Returns

Lady Rufous Returns

Also photographed on May 23. On her first day in the backyard, this female Rufous hummingbird made the acquaintance of virtually every flowering plant–kale, columbine, blueberry, kniphofia, and many more–she even sampled these raspberry flowers from a nearby branch. I’m shooting downwards at her from the second floor sunroom.

Lady Rufous Returns



29 thoughts on “Lady Rufous Returns

    • thank you, Takami … it’s my pleasure to photograph them! I had two (one Anna’s, one Rufous) feeding from the flowers tonight (the last drink before bedtime), just a few inches away from me. 🙂


    • thank you, Mike! this newcomer was completely unconcerned about me being so close … that was the only way I could do it with that prime lens! 🙂

      we have Anna’s and Rufous hummingbirds who do their last drinks for the night (an activity which takes about five minutes), and they will literally be inches from our faces while they pivot and hover around the flowers they drink. too dark to capture, but still amazing things to watch! in the day, they will fly right under our chins and pop up to check us out if we happen to be (too) close to the flowers they love. 🙂


    • thank you, Perpetua.

      I would love to see a Ruby-Throated–that would be a real treat! (they almost never make it past the Rockies), although some birders out here have claimed to have see a couple. I think all hummingbirds are pretty! 😀



    • she is — and unfortunately she lost her claim to the backyard over three weeks ago, to a couple of young juvenile male Anna’s hummingbirds (who have been even scrappier with each other today!)

      she does try to come back almost every day in the evening to sip and got 3 undisturbed minutes to herself. I got to see her from just 6-8 inches away last night, and realized just how small the Rufous is compared to the Anna’s!!


    • Perpetua,

      Yes, Rufous are usually camera shy — particularly the males with the fully developed gorgets and crowns! fortunately, this little lady just didn’t mind, and I was happy for the opportunities to photograph her!

      Cheers and thank you!, Hui

      Liked by 1 person

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