Anna's Hummingbird - Another Sign of Spring

March 05, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Anna's Hummingbirds are quite common and relatively easy to find in the Portland area during March. While females can be incubating eggs this time of year, males can be heard and seen advertising and defending territories. The males "song" is comprised of a jumble of metallic, high pitched squeaks and raspy notes; its call is a sharp "chink". You can listen to some of the vocalizations of Anna's Hummingbirds at http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/annas_hummingbird/sounds

The males perch in all kinds of places, from telephone wires to exposed bare branches; sometimes they are hidden under cover of a thick rhododendron. Males will hover before diving in a straight line, and then curve back up so that their path is the shape of the letter "J". It is possible to identify hummingbirds to species by the shape and pattern of their display dive.

Depending on your angle and the light, the gorget of the male can have an absolutely brilliant appearance, a shown in this photo:

Anna's Hummingbird Or the gorget can be relatively dark, as shown below:

Anna's Hummingbird Or the appearance of the gorget can be somewhere in between:

Anna's Hummingbird While the male is relatively conspicuous this time of the year, the female may be harder to see. Some females start incubating eggs as early as February, and some wait until April. Their nests are made of lichen and moss, and are quite small:

Anna's Hummingbird Nest Even when the female is on the nest, quite a bit of luck and patience can be required to find her and the nest.Anna's Hummingbird Incubating Eggs


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Text for blog sidebar...

Subscribe
RSS
Archive
January February March (3) April May June (1) July August September October November (1) December
January February (5) March (1) April (1) May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December