Anna’s Hummingbird (bird a day)

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November 12, 2008A Bird A Day Birds2 Comments


Anna’s Hummingbird

Originally uploaded by lselman

Calypte anna, also known as Anna’s Hummingbird, flew into the bird of the day by flying into the tree right by my railing while we were feeding the crows the other day. We spent about an hour identifying it and now we know for certain, it was an Anna’s Hummingbird. How adorable it is… and this photograph is an amazing shot of a mom feeding her chick. They are sweet.

Anna’s hummingbird is known as a medium sized hummingbird at about 4 inches long with a wingspan of 5 inches and only weighing between 0.11 and 0.21 ounces! This is a tiny little bird but apparently not so tiny in comparison to other hummingbirds.

I got the following cool facts directly from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

* In the first half of the 20th century, the Anna’s Hummingbird bred only in northern Baja California and southern California. The planting of exotic flowering trees provided nectar and nesting sites, and allowed the hummingbird to greatly expand its breeding range.

* The dive display of the Anna’s Hummingbird lasts about 12 seconds, and the male may fly to a height of 40 m (131 feet) during the display. He starts by hovering two to four meters (6-13 feet) in front of the display object (hummingbird or person), and then climbs in a wavering fashion straight up. He plummets in a near-vertical dive from the top of the climb and ends with an explosive squeak within half a meter of the display object. He then makes a circular arc back to the point where he began. On sunny days the dives are oriented so that the sun is reflected from the iridescent throat and crown directly at the object of the dive.

* On rare occasions, bees and wasps may become impaled on the bill of an Anna’s Hummingbird, causing the bird to starve to death.

Another interesting fact about Anna’s hummingbird..it sings during courtship. This is unusual for hummingbirds. Sweet serenader.

You can hear his song here. (Courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

You can see a video of Anna’s Hummingbird (and learn more about it) here. (Courtesy of Indiesticks.com)

2 Responses to “Anna’s Hummingbird (bird a day)”
  1. Terence

    I loved reading about this bird…with of course one exceptional line…

    On rare occasions, bees and wasps may become impaled on the bill of an Anna’s Hummingbird, causing the bird to starve to death.

    That is very sad, too bad they are not strong enough to remove the insect.

  2. Magpie

    I know, very sad. What a sweet little bird though, eh?

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