I jotted down some notes at Bonny Glen Up Close the other day about the hummingbirds that are in love with our feeder. We think they are Anna’s Hummingbirds. (Someone please correct us if we’re wrong.) The one above is the male: emerald back, ruby throat. These next two photos show the female, more modestly attired in shimming green without the crimson ascot.
How we have marveled to see them perching on the feeder instead of hovering, wings aflutter! Besides their coloring, the reason we’re pretty sure they are Anna’s Hummingbirds is because they sing:
This bird is most often found singing a series of scratchy sounds, including a sharp “chee-chee-chee”, from a high perch. This is the only California hummer to sing a song. When moving between flowers they make a “chick” sound.
Our trio—we’ve counted two females and a male at once—are quite the musical bunch, chittering away all day. They seem to live in a tree right behind our backyard fence. We’ve seen them perched on a branch there (more perching!) and zooming back and forth to our feeder.
Don’t be fooled by the female’s demure attire. “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” Should a weary sparrow happen to pause on the feeder’s perch for a moment, she will fly in his face and scold him furiously.
Reminds me of someone else I know.
At my first glance I thought it to be a Ruby-throat male, but it looks like there may be more red than I see on the ones at my feeder. My little hummers make a great deal of noise and I love it. I found your blog by looking for hummingbirds but I see much here I like.
Thanks for the book recommendations.
On September 12, 2008 at 7:48 am
They look like Anna’s to me – that’s Lucy’s favorite. I was wondering if you had them there. But I’m no expert.
On September 12, 2008 at 8:58 am
When I lived in southern California, we had hummingbirds in our front yard. I don’t remember which species – it was too long ago. However, I do remember how they would dart and buzz around my head when I walked the dog – trying to shoo me away! It must have been nesting season when that happened and the mamas were protecting their brood. Fierce indeed!
On September 12, 2008 at 9:45 am
Margaret in Minnesota says:
Ha. I *loved* the ending of this post, as I have a female hummingbird in MY house, too.
Come to think of it, I’ve got three. 😉
On September 12, 2008 at 2:23 pm
Rachel M says:
This year we saw perching hummingbirds for the first time, too. It’s funny how surprising that is, you just don’t expect to see them at rest. They look even smaller with their wings still and folded against their bodies.
On September 12, 2008 at 9:32 pm