In a post last week, I mentioned the hummingbird that perched on the water spray coming from my hose one summer morning. These little birds have built a nest high up in the fir tree next door. Unlike many other kinds of hummingbirds, they don’t migrate south for the winter. This got me thinking about how little I know about them. I decided to investigate further.
In my search for information, I learned that this particular hummingbird is an Anna’s hummingbird. I found a website and learned more.
This is what the website says about Anna’s Hummingbirds: “… are among the most common hummingbirds along the Pacific Coast, yet they’re anything but common in appearance. With their iridescent emerald feathers and sparkling rose-pink throats, they are more like flying jewelry than birds. Though no larger than a ping-pong ball and no heavier than a nickel, Anna’s Hummingbirds make a strong impression. In their thrilling courtship displays, males climb up to 130 feet into the air and then swoop to the ground with a curious burst of noise that they produce through their tail feathers.”
This photo shows just how tiny these very special creatures are.
How do these remkarable birds survive the winter? According to http://www.wildbirdshop.com/Birding/Annas_hummers.html:
“It is thought that Anna’s Hummingbirds are able to winter so far north because their diets contain a larger proportion of insects and arachnids than most hummingbirds. Not only do these bugs provide nutrients during the winter when there are few flowers blooming, but they also provide a slower metabolizing source of food which may help them survive the long nights. Anna’s Hummingbirds also have a fairly large body weight for a hummingbird which may also help them. But they do live a precarious existence in the winter and the presence of hummingbird feeders has probably also helped to encourage their northward expansion.”
Now you know. 🙂
Until Wednesday, and wishing you the pleasure of a hummingbird’s company,
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