Anna’s Hummingbirds

Since moving to Abbotsford, we have enjoyed having Anna’s hummingbirds in our yard, year round. It amazes us how these tiny creatures have adapted to survive the cold, finding enough nutrition to live on, when temperatures drop below freezing. Clearly, the number of heated hummingbird feeders in our neighbourhood helps, but it is only one factor. The other source of amazement is how early the first brood of chicks fledges. We saw our first fledgeling in early March, meaning the eggs must have hatched in February! One of the most interesting behaviours of the Anna’s hummingbird is the courtship ritual of the male, who will fly straight up into the air, then dive down at great speed in front of the female, and change direction abruptly before he reaches the ground. This causes a fairly loud “chirp” (from the feathers) that can be disturbing to dogs due to the frequencies of the sound. The following photos are a few of my favourites.

Female Anna’s hummingbird at our feeder this winter.
Male Anna’s hummingbird. Its head colour varies according to the angle of light and the resulting refraction from the dark head feathers.
Male Anna’s hummingbird with “apparently” different head colour, due to different angle of light.
Juvenile Anna’s hummingbird.
Female Anna’s hummingbird
Mother feeding the babies. Taken from a location the did not disturb the birds. Cropped image taken with a telephoto lens.
Waiting for mother. Same nest.
The same nest, hours earlier. It was motionless. We soon saw the reason why. A Cooper’s hawk was perched on a nearby tree!
The Cooper’s hawk the caused the hummingbirds to be motionless!

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