Hummingbirds weigh less than a nickel. They are three inches long and routinely construct their conical-shaped nests with architectural and engineering precision. Remarkable birds in many ways, these particular nests found themselves in my studio because a neighbor had gifted them to me to photograph. As Covid enabled nature to regain its formidable powers outside while so many of us were sequestered inside, I examined the details of each tiny abandoned nest to again bring to life each form. Suspending each nest on a sheet of glass that was held in place with thin black monofilament thread, I surrounded each of six nests with big strobe lights that are typically reserved for much larger subjects. With digital technology and a large format camera tethered to my computer, I paid homage to nature’s genius. Each photograph took several days.
There is a wonderful book about hummingbirds, "Glitter on the Green" by Jon Dunn, whose research allows that there are 37 species found in the USA; hummingbird wings weigh one-third of their total body weight; they hover in warp speed due to a figure-eight wing rotation to catch both up- and down-drafts; survive on high-octane pure nectar; and, they migrate from Mexico to Alaska. Great big WOW for such small birds.