09 Aug Odd Quirk | Aug 2017
Bird photography has an odd quirk that sets it apart from other types of photography.
So, what’s odd about bird photography?
It is: You often find what you need while you’re looking for something else.
I traveled to Madera Canyon, Arizona, hoping to take photos of the Plain-capped Starthroat. According to bar charts on eBird.org, this hummingbird was supposed to be in Southern Arizona during late July.
But apparently the bird hadn’t read these charts. Or perhaps it encountered a flight delay. Maybe it changed its plans.
In any case, I did not find a Plain-capped Starthroat. And I was there, looking every day, all day long for a week.
Instead, I found the birds in this post, each showing a beautiful gorget.
For example, a Costa’s Hummingbird flew in and put on a late evening show, posing for photos until dark.
Next, I found this first-year Broad-billed Hummingbird, who will look like an adult male next year.
Then there was this Rufous Hummingbird, who raced back and forth, terrorizing other hummingbirds. Eventually, it paused to rest and show its gorget for this photo.
I also wanted to take a better good flight photo of the Rivoli’s* Hummingbird. But that was hindered by frequent rain, cloudy skies, and uncooperative birds.
Instead, I took this photo, which is now my best bad photo of a flying Rivoli’s male.
And so what’s the lesson here?
As in life, we must show up. And then we often find what we need, even if it happens to be different from what we wanted.
Thus, I plan to come back to find more unexpected gifts.
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On July 5, 2017, The American Ornithological Society (AOS) changed the name of the Magnificent Hummingbird to the Rivoli’s Hummingbird, which had been its name before the AOS changed its name to the Magnificent Hummingbird.
If this seems odd, read about the birds’ reaction to these name changes. See: This Really Made the Birds Mad