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Ever since I first took some pictures of our hummingbirds, I’ve been working diligently to get better ones. For the camera nerds out there, I quickly decided that the minimum settings I needed were f/8 at 1/1000th of second using ISO 800. That combination will only work on a very sunny day, so I had to wait for our string of overcast days to go away. They finally did, and then the tree trimmers came for their annual visit, which made the backyard even sunnier. I even bought a new feeder, but that turned out to be a disaster. The hummingbirds wouldn’t come near it. So I put the old one back and this produced plenty of hungry hummingbirds.

I also got some spectacular pictures. The detail is excellent, and that means all the bird folks in comments should finally be able to tell me for sure which brand of hummingbird I have. I expect answers, people.

UPDATE: Now the bird folks are saying they need to see the back of the hummingbird to tell for sure what it is. Sadly, I don’t have a picture of its back. But I do have a picture that shows a bit of the back. Does that help?

UPDATE 2: We are now 99.5 percent sure that this an immature male Allen’s hummingbird, about a year old. So there you have it.

UPDATE 3: Then again, my mother thinks it’s a female Allen’s. I guess you have to decide who you trust more, the hive mind or my mother.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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