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Rufous hummingbird changing his colors

3:49:59 p.m. last Saturday


3:50:19 p.m. last Saturday Same Rufous hummingbird, the two photos taken 20 seconds apart. Click on the photos to see a larger version. 

It wasn't until I was processing the photos that I realized that the color of the feathers around the hummingbird's neck had changed.

At first I thought perhaps the photos were of two different birds. But then I went back and looked at the sequence of 16 shots I took and realized it was the same bird, an adult male (I think). 

As it turns out, hummingbirds can change the color of those feathers -- called a gorget -- by flashing them. Cool! 

The photos were taken with my Nikon D5100 and Nikon 70-300mm telephoto lens at 300mm, ISO 400, f/5.6 and 1/400 shutter speed. They were shot in RAW and processed in Lightroom 4. 

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All photos above are ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved.