Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Best of the 2012 Hummingbirds (So Far)

This year, we have two kinds of hummingbirds, Rufous and Calliope. Our best guess is that we have (at least to this point) 3 male Rufous, 4 to 5 female Rufous, one male Calliope and at least 2 female Calliope.

The male rufous are the most dominant, defending our 3 feeders from 6 AM to 9 PM daily. Fights are common; one will come in and another will chase him away. You can hear their wings buzzing all the time. They also park in the trees next to the feeders, and they will sit for quite a while, dropping in for a feed from time to time. Typically, the birds aren't that active during the middle of the day. The girls are a lot quieter and generally only show up in the evenings. We see them -- boys and girls -- hunting for insects in the trees from time to time, too.

I've been working on taking as many photos of them as I can. Since I have posted none so far this year, I thought now was a good opportunity to put up some of the highlights from this year so far. In no particular order:
Rufous. Male.
Calliope. Male. Look carefully at the throat.
Calliope, male. Note the way the feathers sparkle purple in the light
Calliope, male, licking his lips
Calliope, female. They are very tiny
Coming in for a landing
Made it
Rufous. Female.
Karen set up her camera one day while we were sitting on the deck and took burst shots of the birds coming in to feed. She got some killer photos of the male Rufous hanging around.
Coming in... 
...more hovering... 
...maneuvering for a landing... 
...still hanging out.
My buddy the Rufous
We have one very bold male who will hang out and feed patiently. We have a chicken male who will show up at the feeder, stick his nose in, stick his nose in another portion of the feeder, and never sit still.

Not a day goes by that I don't watch them, and when we come home, I look for them. Since I first saw them in Wyoming back in 2008, they have become my favourite birds.

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