Sunday, December 6, 2009

Crooked Beak!

Here are some pictures that I took when we were in Lake Havasu City, Arizona last June. I noticed something unique about this hummingbird the moment I snapped my first shot of it.....take a look at it's's crooked! I don't really know anything about hummingbirds, but I don't think this is normal, of course any of you bird watchers out there can correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, this bird was very camera shy, so it took me several attempts over several days,before I was able to get close enough to get some shots of it. I took tons of hummingbird pics while we were there, so be prepared to see more very soon. My only regret is that I didn't really know much about my camera at that time, so I had no idea how to control the shutter speed and freeze the motion while the birds were in flight. I was so bummed because I could have had some spectacular shots.
*** (Click on pictures to see a closeup!)
It turned it's head to look at me as I was slowly creeping closer. It was such a funny bird to watch.....I can't wait to show you the pics I took of it scratching itself, but I'll save those for another post!

Just look at how crooked that beak is!


  1. I love the background colors and the red. I think these are lovely..though I recongize the shutter speed and freezing the motion must fator in..both of which I need to learn.
    As far as this particular little fellow goes, I know the man who could probably help. He's Abraham Lincoln (seriously).
    I'm looking foreward to more of your hummingbird shots too.

  2. Fabulous captures - hummingbirds are one of my favorite birds. I just love them. They seem so happy. Where's the little guys other wing??

  3. Well, at first, when I enlarged the pictures I thought it was the bird's tongue. Their tongue is longer than the beak or seems so to me. But then I did also see the bent part on the bottom part of the beak and while I have seen this happen in other birds I never saw it in a hummingbird.

    This will show you a sketch I made, many years ago, of a young duckling with a bent beak or bill. I suspect it was caused at birth when coming out of the egg, a portion of the bill got stuck on the egg long enough to bend it and it stayed that way. Or, another duckling or momma bit it and bent it while stills soft. In the case of "Quackers" I could see the injury and saw it heal and it healed and in that process bent the bill. He finally made it and flew off on his own and his family were killed and I suspect the large snapping turtle who lived in the pond fed on the baby ducklings.

    So, it is kind of take your pick as the explanation.

    You can go to my blog
    and see a tongue on a Red-bellied woodpecker reaching through the wire for a tasty morsel.

  4. These are great shots! I love the background and the red on the bird. Can't wait to see more!

  5. I wonder if he was born with that deformity or if it was some kind of accident? poor thing! Course he doesn't look to worse for the wear!!!

    great pictures!

  6. Beautiful, even with his minor flaw. Obviously, he can still be a regular ole hummingbird.

    Your blog is beautiful, music inspirational, and just plain peaceful.

    Thanks for the heads up on that site. I checked it out the other night and I will be watching it. Question, what dimensions do you set your header to when creating one. Mine is too short and I want to make up a holiday header but want it to be the correct dimensions.


  7. Dot O, I clicked on my storyboard picture and the dimensions are 1008 x 504. When I created it in Photoshop elements I chose Width: 14 inches, Height: 7 inches Resolution 300 pixels/inch Color mode: RGBcolor. Once it was completed I saved it and then I resized it for the web to get the right dimensions. Do you know how to do that? After you save your project then:

    2. In the IMAGE box: Set resolution to 72 ppi. Make sure that the Resample Image box is checked. Choose Bicubic Sharper from the dropdown menu.
    3. Click OK
    4. Go to FILE> SAVE FOR WEB
    5. In the save for web dialogue box, choose HIGH from the options.
    6. Click OK to all defaults
    7. In the SAVE dialogue box, type in (filename)_WEB
    Note: Make sure you use different file names when you save your printable and web formats because they're both jpeg files and you don't want to overwrite the files by mistake. (As you can see above I just add WEB after my filename, so I know this is the one that has been resized to upload to the web, blog or email!)
    8. Click on SAVE

    I hope this helps!

  8. Addicted to the click, don't worry his other wing is tucked behind him! :)

    Abraham Lincoln, thanks for your imput on the crooked beak...I left you a couple of comments on your blog.

  9. What a wonderful series of a very special bird. He or she is absolutely amazing. I am an amateur ornithologist since I was 12 years old (or young) ...
    You visited my blog, but I was unable to reply to everybody since I was doing brain research and visiting patients at the same time ... After a while I was unable to read the text on my screen ...

  10. Oh my goodness I love your photos... and I love his crooked beak .


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