Hummingbird Photographers – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]
Hummingbird Photographers – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]


[pileated woodpecker call] There’s something I want
o show you. AT THEIR EAST TEXAS LAKE
CABIN NEAR LIVINGSTON SID AND SHIRLEY RUCKER
HAVE FOUND A UNIQUE WAY TO CONNECT WITH NATURE. I think we have a woodpecker
up on that tree. THEY HAVE LONG
BEEN BIRDWATCHERS… It’s always exciting when we
see a pileated in our yard. One time we had momma, a daddy,
and a new fledgling. BUT THIS COUPLE DOES MORE
THAN JUST WATCH BIRDS… Do you see it? ESPECIALLY HUMMINGBIRDS. SID AND SHIRLEY GO TO GREAT
LENGTHS TO CAPTURE HUMMINGBIRDS IN FLIGHT. IN PHOTOGRAPHS. We consider ’em our little
feathered friends. It looks like a lot of stuff. And it is. WHAT BEGAN WITH A SIMPLE
SNAPSHOT OUT THE WINDOW… It probably takes us a half a day
to set all this up. HAS BECOME A 2nd CAREER OF SORTS
FOR THE RUCKERS. If we worked this hard at a
real paying job we would be well off.
–No telling what we would make. [music] Everything has to be fairly precise. I need about 17 inches
to the bird. IT’S A TECHNICAL PURSUIT. The flashes go anywhere from a
ten thousandth of a second to twenty thousandths
of a second. BUT CAPTURING BIRDS IN FLIGHT IS
CLEARLY ALSO AN ART. That’s really not going to work. No, it needs to be lower. We don’t shoot any trapped birds. They come and go at the
feeders as they choose. They’re all free-flying birds. Now is the final tuning. Okay. We learned by trial and error. We just moved the light stands around
until we’d get the light right. About on the money. Just experimenting around
’til we got our technique. We want them on this
side of the feeder so we block up all the holes
on the other side. WITH ALL THE EQUIPMENT AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER
IN PLACE, ONLY 1 MORE THING IS NEEDED. Just sit and wait. PATIENCE. [music] The ruby-throat hummingbird,
that’s the only one we have here. When it leaves the Texas coast,
it flies 600 miles non-stop across the Gulf to Mexico. And if you do your math, it flies about 30 miles an hour,
the wings beat 50 times a second. The wing beats over 3 million times
on a non-stop migration. Impressive, I think. JUST AS HUMMINGBIRDS MIGRATE
EACH YEAR TO AVOID THE COLD, SID AND SHIRLEY MIGRATE IN
THEIR MOTOR HOME TO ESCAPE THE SUMMER HEAT. We pack up and leave the heat
and the mosquitoes and go where it’s cool and dry. AND WHEN THEY TAKE OFF, THEY CARRY THEIR STUDIO
WITH THEM TO PHOTOGRAPH HUMMER
HOTSPOTS IN THEIR TRAVELS. ONE PLACE THE RUCKERS STOP
MOST EVERY YEAR IS DAN BROWN’S HUMMER HOUSE
SOUTH OF SAN ANGELO. It’s really spectacular. Probably five or six thousand
hummers here. I had no idea what I
was getting into. This started out as a hobby feeding
hummingbirds 45 years ago. TODAY DAN AND CATHY BROWN
MAKE THEIR RANCH MORE ATTRACTIVE TO HUMMINGBIRDS AND ALL
SORTS OF WILDLIFE. We’re feeding 4 gallons of
sugar water a day. AND THE WILDLIFE DRAWS
OTHER VISITORS. We will have about 1000 people through our observation
room a summer. -Look! There’s a hummingbird!
-Do you know what kind it is? This is a very large feeding
and nesting site of black-chinned hummingbirds. It takes 7 of these little birds
to weigh 1 ounce. So agile, they’re remarkable birds. THE RUCKERS, OF COURSE, ARE
HERE FOR THE PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES. If you want to shoot black chins, this is probably the best place
in the United States. AS THE SUN GOES DOWN, SID SETS UP WHERE HE HOPES
BIRDS WILL BE TOMORROW. Those are not going to work. EVERY PHOTO SHOOT Too high. PRESENTS A BRAND NEW SET
OF CHALLENGES. So, we’ll go to plan B. FLEXIBILITY IS THE KEY. Have these little fellers
just for situations like this. TODAY FLEXIBILITY MEANS
NEVER RUNNING OUT OF PLANS Still too high. I’m going to go to plan C. …OR STANDS. That’s not going to be high enough. I may have to back to plan B. I don’t think this is going
to be high enough. [sigh] We have long days out there. But, we like it. A BRAND NEW DIGITAL CAMERA PRESENTS 1 MORE CHALLENGE. There’s all kind of settings. I think we’re going to like it once we can get it figured out. Okay. Going to be out here ready to go
by 6:30 in the morning. Different people have
different callings. We like this. A son-in-law loves to sail
in his free time and Sid says I just cannot see
sitting in that boat sailing around all day. And he says, well you know I can’t
see sitting all day behind a camera waiting for a hummingbird. Well, we’re trying to photograph black-chinned hummingbirds
bathing or drinking water. But the hummers aren’t
cooperating this morning. IT DOESN’T ALWAYS PAN OUT… Now what’s wrong
with this silly thing? BUT THAT MAY BE WHAT
KEEPS IT INTERESTING. It’s the challenge of what we
may capture on film. Well let’s try the misters. We don’t hear sirens. We don’t hear squealing tires. It’s all nice and quiet and
peaceful out there. The birds get up at daylight
and they go to bed at dark and we just like it out there. We have a couple of slide
shows that we do. Shirley and I spent 4 or 5 years
photographing hummingbirds for the book
“Hummingbirds of Texas.” I would really like to tell you
that I took the picture but alas, Shirley took that. Most of the pictures in thereů The albino here– ůhave a story. –was taken at Dan Brown’s
Hummer House. They’re really very rare. We tailor the presentation
to the size of the audience and the type of audience. Look at that forked tail
on that thing. BUT WHETHER PRESENTING TO
BIRDERS OR PHOTOGRAPHERS We thank you all for
coming this afternoon. THE SLIDES ALWAYS SEEM TO
LEAVE AN IMPRESSION. It brought tears to my eyes. And in shooting hummingbirds
for a couple of years now, you have to capture the
behavior of the birds and Shirley and Sid have
just done that beautifully. AND EACH TIME SOMEONE BUYS
THE RUCKERS’ “HUMMINGBIRDS OF TEXAS”
BOOK, ROYALTIES FUND THE
TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE HUMMINGBIRD WATCH PROGRAM. SO IN THAT WAY, SID AND SHIRLEY
RUCKERS’ PASSION FOR THESE SMALL WONDERS HELP
ENSURE THAT THERE WILL ALWAYS BE HUMMINGBIRDS TO ENJOY,
ADMIRE, AND YES, PHOTOGRAPH. I cannot foresee that we’ll ever
stop until we have to. We won’t choose to
quit doing this. That came out good, didn’t it? Yeah, I remember this one. We’re always trying for
something better and something different. Better light, better composition,
better exposure, better this, better that. We’re always wanting more. You just have got to keep taking
and keep taking and keep taking and once in awhile you get
one of those wing-dingers. And that’s what we’re trying for. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT
HUMMINGBIRDS OR THE TX HUMMINGBIRD ROUNDUP
CITIZEN SCIENCE PROGRAM, VISIT THE TX PARKS AND WILDLIFE
DEPARTMENT WEBSITE.

41 thoughts on “Hummingbird Photographers – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]”

  1. VisualVirtue says:

    Thank you!

  2. zygote peyote says:

    Inspiring video…great job!

  3. KennethKramm says:

    information and wonderful. Helped me learn more about hummers and get ready for fall migration. Thanks.

  4. Linda Barbaro says:

    How could anyone not like Hummers? Thanks for capturing their beauty in photos.

  5. Joseph Trinh says:

    This little beauty are amazing! It's really hard to get a nice shot, as I try and I know it's very hard. Good JOB!

  6. odlaw18 says:

    Great video. I also love to film hummingbirds.

  7. odlaw18 says:

    Great Video.

  8. John V. says:

    Great video!!! 🙂

  9. Marty Mang says:

    I've been doing the same thing for over 20 years. I guess I'm not crazy after all…

  10. Patricia Casey says:

    Wow this was wonderful! An amateur photographer myself….I understand the passion and joy….beautiful show…. to all the non-photographers out there, yes this is how you get those shots….work and lots of patience…

  11. Karen Poore says:

    Thanks for the video!

  12. Karen Poore says:

    Link above … page no longer there.

  13. Texas Parks and Wildlife says:

    Thanks for the head's-up

  14. Larry Johnston says:

    Very nice! I have a passion for photography and your hummingbird photos are a real treasure (and trophy). Keep shooting please.

  15. davide b says:

    bel video e bravo al fotografo!

  16. Gila Atwood says:

    beautiful work, well done, much respect!

  17. Ben Stacey says:

    good for them!

  18. dragon56149 says:

    i want to grow old like you …

  19. Ayesha Martin says:

    amazing!

  20. Greg Crocker says:

    Delightful

  21. Twostones00 says:

    I'm impressed.

  22. tube01 says:

    WOW you two are blessed. I have a few humming bird feeders out I love the little guys.
    I have one that runs all the others off.

    Got work you guys make such a cute couple two.

  23. Michael Rowlandson says:

    dont use dye in the water!!!

  24. oasisbeyond says:

    hehe, and I was so worried putting one flash. I'm gonna get that humming bird this weekend! lol.

  25. Jerry Collins - Texas Outdoors and Motorcycle Roads says:

    Very cool

  26. steven marshall says:

    these are the kind of people I would like to hang out with. They have a passion for life. Probably wouldnt hear much bitching and moaning from this couple. My kind of folks.

  27. Jonathan Huynh says:

    I like to hang out with this people.

  28. ally dee says:

    Simply stunning.

  29. AnilKumar Mittal says:

    I will be 70 before the year runs out and during last 4 years have developed interest in photography and wild life , in that sequence ! And it's people like these who help you find meaning in life , purpose in living ! Worth emulating, must admit.

  30. elizabeth gabriel brooke says:

    Every photo was a humdinger! Thank you for celebrating these remarkable birds with such extraordinary photography.

  31. Michael Davis says:

    Wow beautiful pictures, going to look up this dans hummer house

  32. frank roden says:

    Beautiful birds, I to have become a humming bird photographer as well !!

  33. David Bishop says:

    What is used to clip up the background when Sid is taking the shots? I would be interested in something like that to control my background colors, but don't know what to search for

  34. eXplorer says:

    Amazing video! I love looking earth, discover and decompress…

  35. Photographers Without Borders says:

    <><><><> {{{ (@) }}} <><><><> i'm very happy and a proud of you, you are great mans and artist <><><><> {{{ (@) }}} <><><><>

  36. Jayt Ad says:

    Looks like the flash is powerful, wonder what it does to the birds eyes as it keep coming for food.

  37. Nelson V. A. Fernandes says:

    Well I think this video was really helpful back in 2011 to 2012. Video is great tho. But as of now, we hav more professional cameras with 10 to 20fps and better low light capabilities and also optical image stability internally. So these many equipments now required.

  38. RepublicAllegiance says:

    …back to Plan B! lol😂

  39. Joan Snow says:

    I love watching my little girls, I had three young girls hatch and been feeding all summer. I will probably cry when they leave, and it won’t be long now 😔

  40. Cary West says:

    I remember about 10or 12years ago my mom had two feeders hanging in the autumn of the year.The hummingbirds were all around.This one hummer kept going from one feeder to the other.Well, s(he) finally had enough of being hogged, and drilled another in the back of the head.Let me tell ya, the fight was on then.They went to the ground and back in the air,just a fussing with one another.My mom and I laughed so hard, the other hummingbirds left for a few minutes.That was so funny though.

  41. Christine Ramey says:

    I'm shooting hummingbirds in my front yard, with just a kit lens and kit flash. I can't afford expensive equipment, can anyone suggest how to avoid the flash in their eyes. I have it set up nicely at my house to get the green in the background. The hummers have gotten used to my flash, and they actually pose for me.. Also, would like to know the reason for the blanket. What uses does it serve? Great video and pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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