Capturing Hummingbirds in Aerial Combat

Hummingbirds are very territorial and can often be seen fighting for position over a food source. During these territorial 'battles", the hummers engage in aerial "combat" which can be aggressive at times, especially when a dominant male is trying to lord over the food source. 

Capturing a single hummer in flight is challenging since the focal range you have to work with is very narrow. But capturing these lightning fast birds in the act of aerial combat requires a combination of skill, patience and luck. When hummers fight, they move very fast and have to cross the focal plane precisely at the fixed location where your camera is focused. Capturing the birds fighting in mid air while holding the camera has been impossible for me thus far. However, capturing two birds within same fixed focal plane (camera on a tripod) is possible but requires much patience. All of the photos in this gallery were captured using the fixed focal plane method.

Hummingbird Aerial Combat