Thursday, March 25, 2010

Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)

 So I saw this little guy in Huckleberry Botanic Preserve about a month ago.  I've been slow on the postings.  I was up in the manzanita barren when I heard the telltale chirp of the humming bird.  I looked up and saw it fly straight up and then dive down to a manzanita a ways off. 
It kept going back and forth between a couple plants (a chinquapin and manzanita) and basically looked to be putting on a show, whether for me or something else, I'm not sure.  Here he is silhouetted against the sky.
 Here you'll find a little description and a recording of their call. Be sure to click on the life history tab.  Apparently Anna's hummingbird used to only breed in Northern Baja and Southern California, but with all of us happy gardeners doing our work, they have greatly expanded their breeding range.

Mainly I identified it because I know this hummingbird has a bright iridescent red or pink throat and is common here in the Bay Area.  And evidently it's the only one that overwinters here regularly.  We have a resident one here at the house that often chirps from high above or lands on our neighbor's plum tree.  I've seen him drinking nectar from arugula, columbine, fuchsia, California fuchsia, various salvia, citrus blossoms and I think the passionflower.


  1. I love that shot of fuscia! Good to see you here, since I thought you'd be all caught up in moving house. Hope all is going well!

  2. They sure are hard to photograph, aren't they? Glad you got some pictures!

  3. How lovely. Due to climate change and some eager bird people here in Vancouver we have Annas year round. I've heard it said that there is nothing more sad than a hummingbird pecking at frozen sugar water so there is a group here that trys to keep them fed in the winter.

  4. Last year our Anna's went crazy for the Salvia in our garden, especially the Salvia leucantha. From dawn to dusk it was a constant parade. I love the Anna's, I've been hearing them around out in the garden...chirping constantly, probably asking me where all the Salvia went!