I have often found it to be a real challenge photographing hummingbirds and I have certainly never had the opportunity to capture them at the nest. In fact I have only ever seen a hummingbird nest once before. Typically their nests are tiny and very well camouflaged. Check out the Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest here as it is made of tiny pieces of lichen assembled together and virtually undetectable on the Tamarack branch where the nest is located.
Tonight after dinner my neighbors that own a large parcel of farmland down the road from my home called to tell me that they had discovered a Ruby-throated Hummingbird nest in their Tamarack grove. I told them I would be right over. When I arrived they already had a 10 foot step ladder set-up for me. I positioned the ladder about 8-10 feet from the nest and climbed up and waited. Once the female hummingbird came back to sit on the eggs I fired off several bursts of images. Why would I expose bursts of photos, because the hummingbirds move their heads very quickly and I wanted to capture a good head angle and also because I was handholding my gear. Often when handholding for such imagery this is a good approach as the sharpest image will usually be the second or third image in a series…at least that’s how it works for me
The images in this post were captured using a Nikon D800 and a Nikon 80-400VR lens (the old one) with an ISO setting of 1250 due to the time of day.
Please click on the images to see the larger sharper versions and please let us know which is your favorite and why.