Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Hum-Dinger!

The west is a terrific place to go if you like hummingbirds. They have more varieties than we do in the east. We have exactly one hummer that breeds east of the Mississippi - the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Don't get me wrong, Ruby-throats are awesome but it's nice to see some other varieties. We get a few here in winter. My friend Harvey had a Rufous Hummingbird at his feeder for a week or so this winter but then it must have found its way back west.

The other thing about western hummers is that they are predictable. You can get better photos of them because they stake out territories and use the same perch alot. I got a few good shots. The first 3 photos are a Rufous Hummer that I found in LA.

Rufous Hummingbird - Los Angeles
 I can't believe that these flight shots turned out. I guess it was due to the bright sun. Pretty cool - suspended animation.
Rufous Hummingbird - Los Angeles
 Then, she turned and headed right for me. Look out!

Little Missile
And then there were the hummers in Pasadena. These little wonders were defending territory along the Arroyo Seco. I found this female Allen's Hummingbird staking out a little shrub that I assume was for nesting. She has a few colored feathers on her throat.

Female Allen's Hummingbird 
But the male has ALOT of colored feathers on his throat. Here he is perched in what looks like a rose bush. His entire throat is iridescent red. He looks pissed - must be another male around trying to steal his gal.

Male Allen's Hummingbird
And then he turned his head directly into the sun and ------BAM! It almost blinded me.

Male Allen's Hummingbird - Pasadena
I went to the nursing home to visit my uncle. I took him outside into the courtyard. One of the nurses was excited to show us a hummingbird nest. Trust me, it was a bright spot in an otherwise depressing visit. I think she is Anna's Hummingbird but only because I didn't seen any rufous/cinnamon hummers in the area.

Anna's Humminbird on nest - Pasadena
More to come. I have a ton of other photos including some bird porn from San Francisco to share with you. It will have to wait until I get home though.

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