Hummingbird Fight Club

“RLG’s Hummers Star in BBC Episode” by Jane Lyons, excerpted from The Chirp, January 2015

BBC crew filming on the back patio of RLG

BBC crew film on RLG’s back patio

Back in March of 2012, a crew of three filmmakers from the Natural History Unit of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) arrived at RLG to film hummingbirds. They arrived with 40+ pelikan cases of equipment, including an amazing high-speed video camera.

The producer, Tom Hugh-Jones, had contacted me weeks earlier to see if we could offer them the type of conditions they required for filming, including comfortable lodging with permanently available electricity, transportation, and meals along with a forest and guaranteed hummingbirds, especially the Booted Racket-tail. I said yes to all.

Setting up shop in one of our guest houses, the crew proceeded to film pretty much constantly for 20 days. I was truly impressed with the creativity, dedication, team-work and professionalism the entire crew displayed. Often the cinematographer did not even eat, and I later learned he is considered one of the world’s best wildlife cinematographers.

Most nights the crew showed us some footage of what they had filmed during the day using new 4K ultra high definition technology, which as one HD reviewer notes, is “more immersive and detailed than regular 1080p HDTV, because it has four times the pixel resolution. As such, the images are far more vivid and intense.” The camera crew was able to capture astounding footage of Booted Racket-tails out-maneuvering larger hummingbirds for food. Even more impressive, they captured an incredibly detailed duel between two Booted Racket-tails as they fought over territory. 

This past October 2014, the film was aired by the BBC in a series entitled Life Story narrated by Sir David Attenborough. The specific footage filmed at RLG is in “Episode 2:  The Hummingbird Fight Club.”

Most of the clip was filmed on our back patio and though short, the video is stunning and well worth checking out . . . the entire episode is filmed in slow-motion 4K ultra HD, giving you a wild ride into the world of hummers.

Comments are closed