By Jose Miguel Gomez
We reached the Enchanted Garden looking for the more than 24 species of hummingbird that lived there. What a surprise it was to actually find them concentrated in a small space where they drank sugary water put out in feeders to attract them.
The birds were so small that any one of them could easily fit into the palm of my hand. Their wings produced a unique sound, especially when they dipped downward and changed speed. I thought about doing a story on these birds that can’t walk but can hover in one spot like a helicopter, and then disappear in a flash behind a tree.
Leonor Pardo has been using nearly a ton of sugar each month since she created the Enchanted Garden. She first put out the sweet syrup and suddenly these hungry, swift creatures just appeared.
They drink the syrup to take to their young, or to continue their hyperactive lives. It was easy to watch them as they darted among the 25 different feeders, visiting all one after another. The problem photographing them was with their speed and wing movement, which threw off my camera’s focus.
It took a lot of concentration to learn to anticipate their movements, and predict when they would arrive at the different fountains. They weren’t all photogenic. I had to search for the tiniest of them, or look for ones with the white breasts, or exotic colors.