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Old 20-09-12, 20:51   #1
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Default Brave butterfly perchins on hummingbird's head

A little competition: Brave butterfly ruffles some feathers by perching on hummingbird's head.
By Emma Reynolds
  • Gorgeous pictures taken by 53-year-old photographer in Florida
  • Tiny bird is just 9cm (3.5ins) long and could fit in an adult hand

It is hard to decide who comes top in the beauty stakes out of these two vibrant winged creatures.

Together, they make the perfect tableau - the colourful butterly perching delicately on the head of the pretty ruby-throated hummingbird in Florida, U.S.

The larger animal is clearly not too happy with the competition, however.

Ahead of the game: Talented photographer Jamie Felton managed to capture the perfect picture when the butterfly landed on the bird's head - before it was shaken off.

It repeatedly shakes off the persistent butterfly, and talented photographer Jamie Felton had to be quick to snatch his photos in the moments the smaller creature found its footing.

Mr Felton had been watching the territorial hummingbird flying back and forth from its branch all morning, but just as he got the perfect picture, the bothersome insect squeezed into the shot.

The 53-year-old nature photographer was visiting a local butterfly aviary with his sister for her birthday.

He said the confrontation between bird and insect lasted just seconds but the brave butterfly came back twice to have another try.

Quiet time: The hummingbird had been sitting calmly on a branch in Florida, not expecting any interruption.

'We take our cameras everywhere with us, and decided on the butterfly aviary because it offers loads of opportunities for really colourful pictures,' he said.

'I had adjusted my light and shutter speed to try and get the perfect shot of a hummingbird taking off.

'We were there for about 20 minutes, when all of a sudden a small patch of light broke through the foliage and illuminated the bird.

'Just as I was poised to take a picture, a butterfly came flying in and landed on his head. The hummingbird almost instantly shook the butterfly off, but the butterfly immediately came back and tried to land a second time.

Pretty little things: The bird is interrupted by an equally beautiful butterfly swooping into his personal space.

'This time the hummingbird lurched backwards to rid himself of the butterfly and then it was over. The whole thing only lasted a few seconds.'

'Even though the action I got was not the action I anticipated. It was better than I could have imagined. I was pretty happy.'

Ruby-throated hummingbirds weigh just 3.5 grams (0.1 ounces) and measure just nine centimetres (3.5 inches) long, with a wingspan that could fit in the palm of an adult human hand.
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