By Sheyla

LifeBuzz Staff

She’s Called The ‘Hummingbird Whisperer’ And Her Close-Up Photos Are Awesome.

Photographers often obsess over their subject matter, trying to find one or a handful of pictures that do justice to their muse. Eventually, they are rewarded. One Instagrammer has a knack for shooting amazing pictures of hummingbirds.

Tracy Johnson knows the secret to photographing the tiny and swift bird is patience. Johnson, who is also an accomplished singer, will stand for at least 40 minutes waiting for the perfect opportunity to capture the delicate animal. She also admits hummingbirds are creatures of habits, "if you see a bird land on a particular branch, hang out for a few minutes and see if he lands there again. If it's a good perch he will be back," explains Johnson.

Tracy Johnson makes her own nectar and uses bird feeders to attract the hummingbirds.

This is one of the new male Annas who showed up at the feeders recently. That little patch removed from his feathers? It's about the size of a couple of tiny feet... I'm guessing this bird had to battle another male to get to our feeders. Which is how he came to be missing a few feathers. Hummingbirds are very territorial. They will defend their bit of land very aggressively. This is a matter of life and death to them because they need access to flowers and water and females to mate with. The only reason you will see a lot of males in the same place is if there is a lot of food available. Did you notice the bit of pollen on his beak? Adorable 😍 A lot of you have been asking how I'm able to get the photos that I get. I use a Nikon D610 camera and a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens. Hummingbirds can be difficult to photograph because they move so quickly. My tips for you are the following: be patient. Hummingbirds are creatures of habit: if you see a bird land on a particular branch, hang out for a few minutes and see if he lands there again. If it's a good perch he will be back. If you see him land there a couple of times over a half an hour or so: get your camera out and stand close by. The goal isn't to get all up in the birds face (this is why you need a zoom lens ☺️) stand near a tree and try to blend. It takes time to get photos of them. I will sometimes stand near a perch for 30-40 minutes and not get one shot. If you do get some photos: over half of them will likely be blurry. It's just how it goes! But with patience and a little bit of determination, the right equipment and lots of practice you can make photos like this: I promise. Now: let's talk about something I didn't think I had to mention: I love that some of you have been sharing my videos and photos with your friends, however, the decent thing to do is to give me credit for them. If you post my photos or videos without giving me credit you are stealing them from me. (I don't put any information on my photos or videos currently: if you guys don't stop posting them as your own I will be forced to put a signature on everything). Please don't make me do that. 🎈❤️✌🏼️ have a beautiful day! 🌺🌷🌸💐

A photo posted by Tracy Johnson (@hummingbirdsxoxo) on

Johnson refers to herself as a bird paparazzi.

This is my friend "Flash" he is a male Annas Hummingbird. The types of hummingbirds who come to my feeders are: Annas Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbirds, Allens, Calliope, Black Chinned, and the occasional "hybrid" which is when the birds have two different types of hummingbird parents (these are the best because they are so unique and interesting) Before I started photographing hummingbirds I thought that their neck feathers were one color... Because in the sunshine all I would see would be a bright flash of red or fushia... Or orange. The birds were never close enough for me to see the details. Only after I started taking close ups did I see the entire spectrum of the rainbow held within their iridescent feathers. (Now I call them "flying rainbows") The male Annas Hummingbirds have gorgeous neck and head feathers. People ask how I can tell the difference between the birds.. And how I can tell which are male and which are female. For the most part: the fully grown male hummingbirds have a full head of brightly colored feathers. While the females have either polka dots or one small patch of color just on their necks. It's harder to tell when the birds are just littles.. Because the young males look very similar to the females. When the male birds are "juveniles" they have only patchy polka dots of bright colors. It's only when they are fully grown that they have this gorgeous full "Gorget" of colored feathers (head and neck feathers). As for telling these birds apart: when they come and visit me and sit down on my hand to drink from the hand feeders, I have a chance to study them. I get to know them the same as I would get to know a new friend. Just with less talking and more blinking ☺️🍭 They all have subtle feather differences. And their personalities are incredibly different. That having been said: there are times when I'm left wondering who just came to visit me. 🐤🐦🐦🐤🐦🐦❤️

A photo posted by Tracy Johnson (@hummingbirdsxoxo) on

Pollen on the beak alert! 😍☺️ Anna's hummingbird. My friend was asking me about feeder recommendations so I thought I'd share some info with you guys. I would say that any feeder made of glass and that unscrews at the base is good. The keys to remember are 1. Don't ever buy the premade nectar with the red dye in it. (The dye makes the birds very sick). To make nectar just dissolve 1 cup of regular white sugar in 4 cups of water. This is scientifically the closest recipe to actual flower nectar 2. Clean it with a scrub brush and hot water every time you refill it. I use the tiny little brushes that they sell in the toothpaste section, the little ones that slide in between teeth are the perfect size to clean the little ports on the feeder. There is something called black mold that builds up very quickly on the feeders and it makes birds very ill. You can also mix 1 part of bleach with 10 parts hot water and spray the outside of the feeder to clean the ports and then rinse rinse and rinse some more with hot water. Imagine that you're the one who will be drinking from the ports and that will get you to rinse even more to get rid of the bleach smell and taste! You can also soak the feeders in a mixture of white vinegar and hot water for 15-30 minutes and then again rinse rinse and rinse some more with hot water. So I guess what I'm saying is: rinse ☺️☺️☺️ thank you @newportbeachtweet for the bleach suggestion. 4. The tiny hand feeders I use are from 5. If you hand feed the birds you should wash your hands before AND after you feed them. This is for your protection and the birds protection. Birds can carry diseases, and you don't want to transfer any lotion or anything onto the birds either. 6. As long as you have access to a window (and you live in the Americas (North or South American countries) you can have a hummingbird feeder. I used to live in an apartment and had a tiny one that suction cupped to the window. And yes! I had visitors 🐤🐤🐤🐤❤️

A photo posted by Tracy Johnson (@hummingbirdsxoxo) on

Each bird is named by the California based musician, this peachy beauty is named Merlin.

So you know those moments in the tabloids where the celebrity grabs the camera from one of the paparazzi and smashes it on the ground into a billion tiny pieces? I'm pretty sure that just what happened with Morgan, Merlins evil twin (male Rufous Hummingbird) so, I was sitting about two feet from the feeder just minding my own business and watching the birds eat, I didn't even have my camera out, I was just relaxing in the sunshine. When Morgan appeared and started to chase all of the other birds away from the feeder. I laughed because he is so ridiculously tiny (like less than 2 inches) and so much smaller than the other birds. But the other birds flew away from him when he flared his tail and got into the other birds faces. So he must have heard me laugh because the next thing I know: he's right in front of my face with his tail flared looking pissed. I flinched slightly because I was so startled that he was so close to me and he flew off to another bird who had landed at the feeder. Then suddenly he flew back to me and got so close to my face and eyes that I closed my eyes. The next moment I felt a tiny beak poke my closed eyeball. He tried to stab my eyeball out!!! Now, it is a windy day, so it's possible that he wasn't planning to actually touch me and the wind blew him into me. But after watching the way he was acting with the other birds I'm pretty sure he meant to do it. 😳😂😂😂😂 the thing about hummingbirds is that they are so tiny that they don't have enough body weight behind their aggression to hurt humans. However, if I hadn't closed my eye he could have scratched my eyeball. I found it all ridiculously comical. But I was surprised that he thought he was strong enough to wound me. And from this day forward I will close my eyes every single time a hummingbird gets that close to me again. It was my own fault for not listening to his body language. He desperately needed a time out.... Where is a mom hummingbird when you need one?! This is a picture of Merlin: he's nice. Morgan, his evil twin? Tries to poke out eyeballs.... ☺️😍😂

A photo posted by Tracy Johnson (@hummingbirdsxoxo) on

Source: hummingbirdsxoxo

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