A male Costa's Hummingbird displays his elongated, violet-purple gorget. His head is covered with the same iridescent feathers, but they look black unless seen at just the right angle. The color comes from refracted light and is not the actual feather color.
Behind the lens.
I photographed this bird under controlled conditions, in a hummingbird aviary or flight pen. But I worked the same way -- I watched long enough to identify the birds' favorite perches, and how often they made the rounds. Then I selected this perch for its uncluttered background, pre-focused my 105mm macro, and waited motionless for the bird to arrive. It works, but only if you are very patient.
Costas HummingbirdbirdArizonaJohn Ashley