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Hummingbird Love

Updated 2009-03-21 from post of 2006-09-18. Links fixed, some new photos included.)

Hummingbirds, as far as I’m concerned, are the most marvelous creatures out there. (Well, them and mariposa lilies, especially Calochortus catalinae.)


So, ignoring all the impending doom for the moment, time for a hummingbird break…

Anna’s hummingbird male, starting to take a bath during one of the first rains of the season.


Anna’s male preening on the same tomato cage. It helps to have a neck with 14 vertebrae.


hummingbird stretched out on wooden deck to warm up in the morning sun Anna’s hummingbird, warming up in the morning sun by hunkering down on the wooden deck and stretching its wings out. They don’t hover all the time.


hummingbirds in red crocosmia Two hummingbirds absolutely furious with each other for sitting in the same shrub. They’re threatening each other by moving their heads back and forth and making ticking noises like an overactive Geiger counter (and probably more in the ultrasonic).


Hummingbirds do a lot of fighting. Mostly, they seem to do nothing but fighting. Cute, but deadly.


A traditional hovering hummingbird at a classic red sage flower.


hummingbird in lavender Traditional hover, but less classic lavender flower. Once they decide that your garden is a good place to look around, they’ll visit anything, including dandelionsand promising-looking bits of old rubber hoses.


Sparkling violet-eared hummingbird, at home in the San Diego Zoo hummingbird house.


Anna’s hummingbird, taking a breather on the flowering stalk of a small succulent in a pot, sitting about four feet away on the other side of a screen door.


Allen’s hummingbirds are the other main species we get here on the coast of Southern California. They’re a bit smaller than the Anna’s and even feistier. This one is a juvenile male just starting to molt in his adult plumage. The little blighter stopped hanging around two days after he was fully plumed in and finally looking magnificent.


Allen’s juvenile male shrieking defiance at passersby.


Collecting nest material.


More hummingbird pics at my photo page [2].

Also some phenomenal ones, by Acreepingmalaise: [3]

Technorati tags: hummingbirds, Anna’s hummingbirds, Allen’s hummingbirds, Costa’s hummingbirds, blue, Iochroma, tree tobacco

7 Comments (Open | Close)

7 Comments To "Hummingbird Love"

#1 Comment By postblogger On 24 Sep, 2006 @ 06:40

I live in the ‘Old World’, so I’ve never seen one of these in the flesh. Hummingbird moths just won’t seem the same anymore…

And I love (most of) the rest of your posts; it’s some of the best writing I’ve read on the web and has really made me think about my own use of English, so thanks!

#2 Comment By Tonsure Wimple On 17 Aug, 2007 @ 10:36

It’s only when they cruise you, checking out your tropical shirt, that you realize that ‘hummingbird’ does not mean hmmm-hmm-hmmmm but a deep industrial thrumming that vibrates your skin.

They fight endlessly and are unafraid of you or anything because they’re faster and they know it.

#3 Comment By Jenice – a hummingbird enthusiast On 10 Dec, 2007 @ 20:47

“Hummingbirds, as far as I’m concerned, are the most marvelous creatures out there.”

I must agree that hummingbirds are indeed marvelous. We have them almost year-round here so tend to take them for granted. I can’t imagine living somewhere where they don’t live.

#4 Comment By Cool Garden Things On 23 Mar, 2009 @ 15:05

I am in love!

#5 Comment By Brynn On 25 Mar, 2009 @ 15:25

They truly are marvelous creatures!!! Even their photos brighten one’s day.

#6 Comment By Chad On 04 Apr, 2010 @ 14:32

What wonderful pictures! Do you use any hummingbird feeders, or just flowers? I’m hoping to get some hummingbirds in my yard, but I don’t have time to plant flowers. Are there any feeders you recommend? So far, I found a Magnolia Top Fill hummingbird feeder by Perky-Pet.
Here’s the feeder I’m talking about:

#7 Comment By quixote On 04 Apr, 2010 @ 19:09

Chad, we have hummingbird feeders all over the place. Six to be precise. We have them on three sides of the house, and two behind a large shrub and a tree. If they’re in a line of sight to each other, one hummingbird will do its best to “own” both of them.

The biggest problem with feeders is if they drip nectar. If they’re anywhere near your house/apt then, you’ll be swarmed with ants. The hummingbirds love them because the nectar is so easy to slurp up…. The only really dripless ones look like flying saucers. (eg: [5]) You really need to rinse them thoroughly with every refill, so the top or bottom loading aspect isn’t much of an issue, to me. (If mold starts growing in the feeder, you can actually kill hummingbirds. Not good.)

Re flowers. The little blighters get all their calories at the feeders, but it’s very hard to get them to visit without any flowers. If you can grow even one or two pots of something, that helps. Red sage is a magnet. Also Campsis (trumpet creeper) which grows like a weed and is an unruly vine. Scarlet monkeyflower, Ipomopsis rubra, are another couple of good possibilities.

Have fun! (With apologies to Ratty in The Wind in the Willows) There is nothing half so worth doing a simply messing about, attracting hummingbirds.