Hummingbirds Of Lake Chapala Mexico
Photos taken while housesitting at the home of John and Dee Mistrik, San Juan Cosala, Lake Chapala, Jocotepec, Jalisco, Mexico, September through October, 2006.

They have two hanging feeders which attract hummers from sunrise to dusk.

Equipment: Nikon D50 or Nikon D200 and either a 70-300mm f4-5.6G or a 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G with and without the on-camera flash, handheld.

I've been asked, how do I get so close to the hummers.

Getting close to hummers is easier than you might think. If you and your camera are in position, just remain still. They will come to the feeder eventually. But the sound of my shutter (in the case of my DSLR) does scare them off. So you only get one shot at a time this close, about five feet. I used a 400mm zoom telephoto on this one. Five feet is a close as it will focus.

If I back off several feet, to about ten feet away, the hummers won't fly away from the sound of the camera shutter. With the DSLR set to rapid fire or busrt mode, you can shoot many frames at a time while manually focusing to "follow" the hummer. It's almost like shooting with a video camera. You're more likely to get one good shot every now and then. I can easily shoot several hundred shots in a few minutes.

I have friends with six huge feeders going all day on the backyard patio. These people can stand with their nose touching the hanging feeder and the hummers and their wings will hit them in the face and ears while they try to drink from the feeder. Very fun to watch. I need to get a photo of that!
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