These little birds have intrigued me from the first days I spent in New Mexico. During the warm months I see tens, if not hundreds of them daily.

We have four species of hummingbirds near Santa Fe. Two of them actually live here in the summer: The Black-chinned and the Broad-tailed hummingbirds. The other two pass through the area, commuting northward out of Mexico: the Rufous, flying as far as Alaska, and the little Calliope hummingbird, the most rarely seen of the four species.

The Black-chins are my hummingbirds. They are the first to arrive in April and the last to depart in September. They nest behind my house. I see a few Broad-tails early and late in the season, and there is a Rufous invasion from late July until early September, but the Black-chins are a constant presence. They back off a bit when the more rowdy Rufouses are here, but they aren't beyond a bit of rowdy behavior themselves.

Hummingbirds can be very aggressive. All of them! I have watched the little Calliope Hummer defend its place at the feeder as confidently as the birds twice its size, and check out the shot I caught of two females competing for one feeding spot.

There was no fancy photo equipment used here, just patience and good timing. I used a 4 megapixel pocket-sized camera for most of the shots, but I upgraded to a 7 megapixel camera for the later ones. Most of the pictures were taken with the lens only 5-10 inches from the birds. Don't be discouraged if you try this yourself: You just have to take many, many shots to get a few good ones. If you hold still long enough, a hummingbird might even land on your hand, or on the camera itself!

Outta My Way Hummingbirds
Male Calliope Hummingbird
Male Rufous Hummingbird
Callie Cat and Hummingbirds
Hummingbird Feeding Frenzy
Immature Rufous Hummingbird
Rudy Cat and Hummingbird
Male Black-chinned Hummingbird
Look Behind You Hummingbirds
Immature Rufous Hummingbird
Backyard Hummingbirds Everywhere
Immature Rufous Hummingbird
Male Broad-tailed Hummingbird