Winter Hummingbirds

Tomorrow I’m headed back to Wisconsin and it’ll be months before I lay eyes on another hummingbird, but on Wednesday we went back to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum one more time and I had fun admiring the hummers there. Most of them were Anna’s Hummingbirds, which are ubiquitous here year-round. There’s a female that hangs out in the orange tree in my parents’ backyard, but all the ones I saw guarding feeders at the arboretum were males.

Anna's Hummingbird 2 (1024x767) Anna's Hummingbird 3 (684x1024)Each feeder belonged to one specific hummingbird, who would stay perched near it and chase away any others who tried to approach. These birds are tiny, but fierce! And one feeder was being guarded not by an Anna’s, but by a beautiful male Broad-billed Hummingbird. Any range map you look at will tell you that these birds shouldn’t be in the Phoenix area in the winter, but really they hang out at the arboretum year-round. However, the Broad-billed was shyer than the Anna’s and kept choosing perches where he was hard to photograph. This is the best I could do (his bill’s not in focus, drat).

Broad-billed Hummingbird (1024x723)

Look at all that metallic blue and green! Such dashing, handsome little guys! I’m so sorry for those of you who live on continents with no hummingbirds.

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