Hummingbirds don’t really hum and it can be hard to hear them chirping as the buzz from their rapidly flapping wings often drowns them out. As a photographer I enjoy the challenge of catching these little creatures in flight rather than sitting on a feeder. To catch them in flight requires a fast shutter speed and most of the time I will sync a high speed flash in the attempt to stop the wings.
Scientists place hummingbirds and swifts in the same taxonomic order, the Apodiformes. The name means “without feet,” which is certainly how these birds look most of the time. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I’d think they don’t have wings either since they can flap 53 times per second, making the wings pretty well invisible. The extremely short legs of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird prevent it from walking or hopping. The best it can do is shuffle along a perch. Nevertheless, it scratches its head and neck by raising its foot up and over its wing