Tag Archives: bird watching

The Attention Getting Hummingbird

hummingbird close up web

The exact opposite of the quail, the hummingbird is surprisingly easy to photograph.  Their high pitched call is very attention getting, and as soon as you learn it you will be able to spot hummingbirds darting around the desert.  Although most people think about hummingbirds as quick creatures in constant motion, they actually spend a lot of time just sitting on Ocotillo or Palo Verde, practically posing.  I wonder if the quail and the hummingbirds have worked out a deal, because it seems like when I am stalking quail for a picture, I get dive bombed by hummingbirds diverting my attention.  A high pitched squeal, a bright flash of color, and a small bird whizzing by your head is very successful at distracting you from the bumbling bird hiding in the bushes.  I wonder what the quail offers the hummingbird in return?

The Elusive Quail

quail

 

As long time readers know, I enjoy bird watching and have spent much of the last year and a half learning how to photograph birds.  Throughout that time I have never been able to get a clear decent picture of a quail.  This photo from the Phoenix Mountain Preserve is the closest I have gotten.  Quail look goofy and walk around on the ground in a way that suggests that they would be easy to catch.  Not so.  For how unsophisticated they seem, they are actually masterful at hiding in the bushes and quickly darting from one safe cover to another, successfully avoiding predators as well as birdwatchers.