September 12, 2008 @ 6:22 am | Filed under: Nature Study
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.
A Fan Letter to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Nature Books We Love (a Rerun)