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!