Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Seasonal Colours?

From my camera:

This week I have the seasonal colours in the shape of an Anna's hummingbird. Green wings and beautiful red (red-purple head and gorget). I didn't go far to take these pictures, this little fellow is a year round visitor to my back garden.

Here perched on a trellis in the sleet:
"Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna), a medium-sized hummingbird native to the west coast of North America, was named after Anna Masséna, Duchess of Rivoli.[2] In the early 20th century, Anna's hummingbird bred only in northern Baja California and southern California. The transplanting of exotic ornamental plants in residential areas throughout the Pacific coast and inland deserts provided expanded nectar and nesting sites, allowing the species to expand its breeding range."

"Anna's hummingbird is 3.9 to 4.3 in (9.9 to 10.9 cm) long. It has an iridescent bronze-green back, a pale grey chest and belly, and green flanks. Its bill is long, straight and slender. The adult male has an iridescent crimson-red derived from magenta to a reddish-pink crown and gorget, which can look dull brown or gray without direct sunlight and a dark, slightly forked tail."

"Female Anna's hummingbirds also have iridescent red gorgets, though they are usually smaller and less brilliant than the males'. Anna's is the only North American hummingbird species with a red crown.[3] Females and juvenile males have a dull green crown, a grey throat with or without some red iridescence, a grey chest and belly, and a dark, rounded tail with white tips on the outer feathers."

"These birds feed on nectar from flowers using a long extendable tongue. They also consume small insects and other arthropods caught in flight or gleaned from vegetation. A PBS documentary shows how Anna's hummingbirds eat flying insects."

"While collecting nectar, they also assist in plant pollination. This species sometimes consumes tree sap.[5] The male's call is scratchy and metallic, and it perches above head-level in trees and shrubs.[3] They are frequently seen in backyards and parks, and commonly found at feeders and flowering plants."

"Anna's hummingbirds can shake their bodies 55 times per second to shed rain while in flight or, in dry weather, to remove pollen or dirt from feathers."

"Anna's hummingbirds have the northernmost year-round range of any hummingbird. During cold temperatures, Anna's hummingbirds gradually gain weight during the day as they convert sugar to fat."

These hummingbirds are extremely protective of their food sources (feeders included). I feed them year round, but even I am not spared being dive-bombed if I get too close to one of the two feeders I maintain.

They also have a raspy scolding sound that they use to voice their displeasure if I get too close to one of "their" feeders!

... hummingbirds with inadequate stores of body fat or insufficient plumage are able to survive periods of sub-freezing weather by lowering their metabolic rate and entering a state of torpor.

"There are an estimated 1.5 million Anna's hummingbirds. Their population appears to be stable, and they are not considered an endangered species."

"The Anna's Hummingbird is one of only three hummingbird species that are permanent residents of the United States and Canada. (The others are the Allen's and Costa's.) This hardy hummingbird has the northernmost year-round range of any North American hummingbird species."

"Anna's Hummingbird is an extremely vocal species, especially for a hummingbird. Males sing a buzzy, scratchy-sounding song while perched and during their high-flying courtship spectacles. During the display, the bird ascends up to 130 feet, then swoops toward the ground. At the bottom of its dive, the bird's tail feathers emit a burst of noise. These elaborate dive displays may be direction at other birds and even at people!"

They are territorial, they can be scolding, but they are also tiny and beautiful and amazing to watch.
I currently have at least 2 hummingbirds attending my feeders, one is dominant and chases the other mercilessly.
Time to fill the feeders, it is cold out there!
Here is a You tube video of the Anna's Hummingbird:
I hope you have enjoyed my pictures today.
  I have two shows on now:
The Great Stuff show and sale at the Ferry Building and a Christmas Art show at Image West:
That is all I have for you this week.
Thanks for dropping by,
happy Wednesday, with whimsy,

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