Could you hold on for a moment, I just want to get this shot? No, not really, but that’s what I hear people say all the time. What is it about taking photographs that people find so fascinating? Yes, I do enjoy being photographed myself. I pose on a rock so they get my good side, but then again both of my sides are good sides. I curl my tail up perfectly. That seems to be important to the person, a perfectly curled tail.
But not all animals seem to enjoy being photographed. They fly or run off. But that doesn’t stop the people from pursuing them! People run or stumble across rocks, push their way through thorny bushes or dive own into water. The one I simply can’t believe is when they stand in the middle of busy roads, oblivious to the cars and trucks swerving around them. My cousins on Cayman Brac, the Lime Lizard Lads, can tell you all about avoiding cars so you don’t get squished.
Most curly-tails I know run for the rocks when people approach. Actually, they run when anything that might be a predator approaches. It’s just good sense. Better to be safe than eaten. But some animals seem to enjoy playing the pursuit game with people. This seems particularly true of hummingbirds. Maybe they know their superior speed and agility will allow them to evade any human that might mean them harm. Maybe they’re a bit vain and know they’re attractive to people. Maybe they just like to play games. Spending your day sipping and flitting could get boring. Although they visit a lot of flowers and I’ve always enjoyed that.
Once I’ve allowed people sufficient photos of me, I climb on a branch and watch them try to photograph a hummingbird. The hummer, that’s my nickname for hummingbirds, will fly in front of the person, flash his gorget, that’s the name of his throat feather, and hover. That excites the person. Up comes the camera and off flies the hummer. The chase is on. The hummers this way and then that. The person pursues. The hummers stops to sit on a branch, but only until the camera is raised and the button about to push, then off he flits away again. Personally, I would give up the chase after a few minutes, but the people are a determined bunch. They chase the hummer and they chase the hummer. I know that this happens both in the desert and on islands, like here in the Bahamas.
Sadly, most people don’t get the photograph. I wonder, instead of searching through the lens of a camera, why don’t the people just watch the hummer and make a memory instead?