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Photographer Captures The Grace And Beauty Of Hummingbirds

Apr 24, 2016 By Jake Brannon

Tracy Johnson is not a professional photographer, but that hasn't stopped her from documenting the beauty in her own backyard. Most people start off by snapping simple photos of flowers, sunsets, and other stationary things, but Tracy went for something a little more challenging. That's right, she set her sights on hummingbirds. The rapid movement of these tiny birds made them quite difficult to photograph at first, but that didn't stop Tracy from sharing their unique features with the world.

Hummingbirds get their name from the distinct "humming" sound their wings make when they flap. Just how fast do their wings flap? An average of 50 times per second! Try and see how many times you can flap your arms in one second. My record is three ... Their rapid wing-flapping allows hummingbirds to hover in mid-air and zip around at speeds as high as 34 mph.

While their flying abilities are quite impressive, that isn't what captured Tracy's attention. Hummingbirds' feathers come in a wide array of bright colors, making them the perfect subjects for a backyard photo shoot. Upon seeing how the sunlight reflected off their feathers, Tracy knew she had to get a closer look at these stunning birds. Thanks to social media platforms like Instagram, Tracy is able to share her work with people all over the world. I've never associated hummingbirds with bright feathers, but, after seeing these photos, I don't see how I couldn't. Check out Tracy's work below to learn more about these magnificent little birds - perhaps you'll be inspired to start taking some photos yourself!

Tracy Johnson is a singer based in California, but she recently discovered a talent for photographing hummingbirds.

Her interest was sparked when she saw just how many different colors were on a single hummingbird.

Tracy took to Instagram to explain her fascination: "Before I started photographing hummingbirds, I thought that their neck feathers were one color. Only after I started taking close-ups did I see the entire spectrum of the rainbow held within their iridescent feathers. Now I call them 'flying rainbows.'"

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Hummingbirds are fast-moving, territorial creatures. Tracy must be quick with her camera, yet discreet enough not to scare the delicate birds away.

Tracy's experience birdwatching is different than other people's. "I get to know them the same as I would get to know a new friend," she says.

She's been fortunate enough to meet a variety of species in her own backyard including Anna's, Rufous, and Black-chinned.

Hummingbirds are always up to something. Since they have the highest metabolism out of all the homeothermic animals, they're constantly searching for food, water, and potential mates.

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Tracy's advice for people looking to photograph hummingbirds? Be patient. "If you see him land [in the same spot] a couple of times over a half an hour or so, get your camera out and stand close by," she explained.

If not for Tracy, we may have never realized the true beauty of hummingbirds.

Don't forget to SHARE these gorgeous photos with your friends and family!

H/T: LittleThings | Tracy Johnson

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