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Living with Hummingbirds

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It is almost October and these are Anna’s hummingbirds and they stay with us all winter.

They were named after Anna Massena, a 19th century French duchess. In summertime we also get Rufous but they leave for better weather sometime in middle of September. Rufous are smaller but much more belligerent . Real fighters.

But hummingbirds are generally described as tough, beautiful and smart.They must consume twice their body weight in insects and nectar on a daily basis just to survive.The fact they can literally starve to death in a few hours helps explain why they defend their food sources so vigorously.They are highly territorial, They fight duels in mid-air and use their bills as daggers.We observed that it’s not playing. It’s for real..
Hummingbirds also have a huge memory. They can remember where every flower in their territory is located and how long it takes to refill with nectar after they have fed.

I am amazed how many hummingbirds stay with us all winter. Sometimes it seems to be clouds of them. Of course my OH feeds them and I am sure that is probably the reason why.

The ability to slip into a type of hibernation on chilly nights helps the Anna’s survive our cold and rainy winters

I have several feeders in the view from my computer chair and love to watch them. They are also getting quite friendly. I do not train them to eat from my hand but when I go out there to water plants or for any other reason they will not fly away on the contrary they will hover over my head as they are checking what I am doing. They have a curious behaviour.

Hummingbirds are very hard to photograph one second they are there and next they are gone.They have unparalleled ability to hover in place and to fly in all directions, even upside down.

Anna’s hummingbird …relative to it’s body size, is regarded as the world’s fastest bird.The male Anna’s reach supersonic speeds when performing a courting ritual …..it climbs up to 40 meters above a watching female and then suddenly plunge sharply downward.

I really should buy a high speed camera.

This is a young female Anna’s as seen from my desk. They have a pale breast.
I use zoom feature on my camera but it does not take the greatest pictures.

Male Anna’s has a dark chin which turns a florescent red when sun shines on it.

Latest video my OH took from my computer chair and I posted on YouTube to show their interaction:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2byhdx6GuY

Winter is coming quickly and these little guys are depending on us. They are some flowers around all winter but not enough to feed them all.

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Comments

 

what a lovely blog. these are such charismatic birds. We don't get them in the UK. it is good you re able to supplement their diet.

14 Oct, 2021

 

Very envious, must be a real joy just watching them

14 Oct, 2021

 

Yes, very envious Klahanie! Thank you for sharing, they are a joy to see..:))

14 Oct, 2021

 

Brilliant blog Klahanie, and lovely to see how colourful they are close up. Great pics!

14 Oct, 2021

 

Agreed. Just lovely!

14 Oct, 2021

 

So interesting, you wouldn’t expect such a little delicate looking bird to be so tough and smart!

14 Oct, 2021

 

Your photos are absolutely exquisite Klahanie. You must have a lot of patience. I didn't know they can fly upside down. Thanks for the education as well. They are magnificent birds.

14 Oct, 2021

 

Wow!! Just wonderful to see, Klahanie. You are so very lucky, I’m very envious..these are such beautiful birds. I felt quite saddened when I read they can perish in a matter of hours if they haven’t had enough to eat.
However, you are keeping them well fed! Your pics are fab..AND clear too. Thank you for sharing your information and lovely photos. Plus the YouTube video too. 😊

14 Oct, 2021

 

Ditto to all above. Love your photos & the info. Thank you.

15 Oct, 2021

 

Thank you all for your kind remarks. We are happy to have them around.

15 Oct, 2021

 

What a lovely blog,and photo's Klahanie,and I loved reading all the information about them, so interesting..It's great,that you and your husband are helping them to survive too,as we do ,with our little visiting birds on the feeders,but yesterday,we had an extra visitor of a Grey Squirrel,with the bushiest tail,I've ever seen,which came in handy as an anchor which enabled it to hang upside down on a feeder,,and demolish the Sunflower Hearts ! :o(..

15 Oct, 2021

 

We have them too Bloomer. They are a big nuisance. So determined and acrobatic. We are doing everything possible to protect our bird feeders but seems that they are winning. If you find anything that deters them let me know.

15 Oct, 2021

 

Are the hummers imprinted on you Klahanie? Do they return year after year? Hummingbirds are extremely intelligent and recognize you and remember where your feeders are for next year and for their offspring. Anna's hummingbird is really cute.

16 Oct, 2021

 

Bathgate, these Anna's are staying with us year round. They do not go anywhere in summer or winter. I am at the point that I could name some. Although, I see more around in winter. I speculate that people are traveling south for winter and do not feed them anymore and they all move to Klahanies. We have at least dozen of feeders and OH even build a "warming station" for them (with Christmas lights) because it can get cold here for a period of time.

16 Oct, 2021

 

Occasionally I'll see the Ruby Throated Hummingbird fluttering around the honeysuckle. They are too quick for my camera. Christmas lights?! I would move to Klahanie's too.

16 Oct, 2021

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