Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Anna's Hummingbird at Rest

I've been practicing my digiscoping, and on our recent California trip I managed to get some shots I'm quite pleased with. This is an Anna's hummingbird that we spotted from above on the northern California coast at Fort Brag. It was perching quite still for an extended time at the tip of a small tree at the edge of a pond. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology notes:
The Anna's Hummingbird makes itself conspicuous by its behavior as well as its choice of habitat. The male sings frequently from exposed perches, and makes elaborate dive displays at other hummingbirds and sometimes at people.
"Exposed perch" certainly describes the situation in which we found this handsome little bird, and I suppose we should be glad we were above and behind it, not below it to tempt it to dive at us.

The only hummingbird we get in Minnesota is the ruby-throated. I haven't seen too many of those, and one usually only spots them when they are hovering and darting about, so it was a treat to see the Anna's so clearly through the spotting scope. The face and throat seem black here through a trick of the light; normally they would appear a deep iridescent red in the adult male, which this appears to be. The Anna's is one of the larger hummingbirds, at 4", which led us not to quite believe our eyes when we started to realize that this small but not tiny bird was indeed a hummingbird, but the iridescent green back and the needle-like bill rapidly convinced us. They are described as common in urban areas of the far West; their range has expanded considerably northward from Baja and southern California, which was their main breeding location during the first half of the 20th century.
Posted by Picasa

No comments: