HE SAW A HUMMINGBIRD by Norma Lee & Russell Ogg Browning


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Russell Ogg's swiftly deteriorating vision followed 30 years of a particularly severe diabetes, 30 years in which he never let his condition hold him back from photographic assignments all over the world. But blindness, and the memory of a sister's painful bout with the same disease, threatened to do him in until. . . . He Saw a Hummingbird. Doctors can't explain it, but what little vision he retains was enough not only to spot the quicksilver movements and flashes of iridiscent color but also to photograph the tiny birds with rigged-up equipment. This chance sighting grew into a daily habit, and three years later he held an exhibit at a prestigious Palm Springs gallery. As wife Norma Lee Browning tells it, it's pure miracle, but she adds some of her own eyewitness details which may take birders--especially hummingbirders--by surprise. She and Russell have observed several behaviors contrary to bird book summaries. Their hummingbirds (six species in one backyard!) will hover near the ground or ignore water left for them, and they rarely squabble; Norma Lee even heard one sing, and she believes they see through the backs of their heads--how else explain the ability to fly backwards to catch insects. (The last may send ornithologists flying for cover.) For those in search of inspiration, a small sanctuary.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 1978
ISBN: 0595129749
Publisher: Dutton