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Slideshow: Backyard birds photographed through windows

To birders, “looking through the glass” refers to binoculars. Wildlife photographer Glen Apseloff, however, thinks of the phrase as referring to the windows of his house. Using a handheld camera without a flash or special filters, he has photographed enough birds from inside his house, through closed windows, to create two books. Some of the photographs and text in this slideshow can be found in his more recent book, Backyard Birds and More—Looking Through the Glass. All of the birds in this slideshow, like all of those in his books, were taken through closed windows from inside his home in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio.

He wrote each of the captions in the following slideshow.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the only hummingbirds in Ohio. They are roughly three to three-and-a-half inches in length with a wingspan that can reach about four to four-and-a-half inches. They weigh only about an eighth of an ounce (about 3.5 grams). They beat their wings an average of more than 50 times per second (and up to 200 times per second for males during courtship dives), and they can dive as fast as 60 miles per hour, although their normal speed in straight-line flight is about 25 miles per hour.

During part of their migration, they cross the Gulf of Mexico (up to 525 miles), flying nonstop for approximately 20 hours. In flight, their heart rate is approximately 1220 beats per minute; at rest it is approximately 250. More interesting facts can be found at

The oldest Ruby-throated Hummingbird was a female that lived at least 9 years and 2 months. It was banded in West Virginia and recaptured and released there in 2014. Four Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have lived at least nine years in the wild; all were captured alive and released, and all were females. Females live longer than males, possibly because males expend too much energy and lose weight defending their territory during the breeding season, causing more of them to perish when they subsequently migrate long distances. The oldest male in the wild lived to be at least 5 years old.

View photos of backyard birds in our galleries

Originally Published

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Glen Apseloff

Glen Apseloff is a medical doctor who writes medical thrillers and photographs wildlife. He has published several wildlife calendars and two books about backyard birds and one about chipmunks.

Glen Apseloff on social media