Jul 15 2012

A Trick Of The Light

Published by at 7:30 am under Beyond Bounds,Songbirds

Have you ever noticed how the amount and direction of light can make a bird look different?

Male Costa’s hummingbirds have shiny purple feathers all over their heads but the feathers look black when the light is at the wrong angle.

This male fluffed his face feathers while Bill Parker was taking his picture in California last winter.  Here’s what he could have looked like had he kept his feathers sleeked.

The light has been subdued in Pittsburgh this weekend because of cloudy, rainy weather.   The birds look dull but we need the rain.

(photo of a Costa’s hummingbird by William Parker)

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “A Trick Of The Light”

  1. Rob Protzon 15 Jul 2012 at 8:47 am

    What a way to make my Sunday, Kate! :)

    Beautiful Costa’s!

  2. bhanceyon 15 Jul 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Beautiful photo! Thanks for sharing.
    We see these little birds at our feeders during much of the year. We have lately noticed that many of them seem to develop some sort of neurological issue – they have involuntary twitches which get worse, and then they die. I guess it could be a result of pesticides from the orchards, but it has gotten worse during the past couple of years, and it seems to affect Costa’s HBs more than the other species we also have in our area. Any ideas?
    We’d hate to lose these beautiful hummingbirds from our yard. They often sit nearby and “chatter” at us when we are on the patio.

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