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Flamingo Gardens, Davie, Florida

Flamingo Gardens is a lovely botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary covering 60 acres in Davie, Florida just outside of Ft. Lauderdale. They boast over 3000 species of rare and exotic, tropical, sub-tropical and native plants. I figured that if I was going to find a hummingbird in the Ft. Lauderdale area that I would probably find it there.

I learned a very important lesson today, though. As a hummingbird photographer it is important to always be prepared, but I obviously am new at this. When I packed up my camera equipment to take to the gardens, I left out my 200-500mm lens mainly because it is heavy. I mistakenly thought (hoped) that the hummingbirds would be on all of the tropical plants that have blossoms low to the ground and I would be able to capture them with my 70-200mm lens. WRONG.

I was able to photograph the only two hummingbirds I found in the whole botanical gardens, but they hung out at the top of a very large cactus and they were too far to photograph well with the short lens. Upon enlarging them, though, I could see that one of them was a juvenile male Ruby-Throat. I’m very excited about this, as I have to admit to all of you that this was the very first time I have seen a Ruby-Throat. I had already moved to California before seeing my very first hummingbird, so I was well out of the range of the Ruby-Throat.

Even though I was unable to get the kinds of pictures I wanted of the hummingbirds, I did manage to get a few nice pictures of a Great Horned Owl, some Ibises and Peacocks, some very nice butterflies and, of course, some flamingos.

Now I have boarded the Crown Princess cruise ship and I am on my way to the Netherland Antilles. I will get to Curacao on Monday, February 26, and I will be searching for Blue-Tailed Emerald and Ruby Topaz Hummers. Yes, this time I will be taking all of my lenses.

Carole Studio City, California

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