Anna’s Hummingbird Male Defends His Feeder

  • 1
    Share


Anna’s Hummingbird Male

Almost every day I enjoy the company of a maleAnna’s Hummingbird(Calypte anna). He perches on a metal fence I put up to protect a bed of sunflowers we planted outside my home office window. Click on photos for full sized images.

Anna’s Hummingbird Male

He is protecting a hummingbird feeder that hangs from the eves about 12 feet away.

Anna’s Hummingbird Male

You will notice in this series of images that the colors of the feathers on his head change as he turns his head.

Anna’s Hummingbird Male

This is due to a complex feather structure that I explained with photos in apreviouspost. This fellow is in total shade so his colors are not as vibrant as they would be in full sun.

Anna’s Hummingbird Male

But, as I was saying, he is guarding one of the hummingbird feeders, strategically placed around the house. So, to let you know what an excellent source Birds of North America Online (BoNAO) is, I will give you some information on theAnna’s Hummingbird’sfood habits from their website.

Hovering bird extends tongue into flower corolla to extract nectar. Insects are usually taken in the air, sometimes several successively. May also “hawk,” leaving perch to capture insect, then returning to perch. Investigates spider webs for small captured insects, and visits water and damp areas. Sometimes gleans tiny insects from leaves and presumably takes sap and insects from holes made in oaks, willows, and other trees1.

If you havehummingbirdfeeders you have probably witnessed (usually) male birds protecting a feeder and chasing off intruders. This is what BoNAO has on this behavior.

Males defending feeding territories may fill their crops only 10–33% of capacity at a time, thus keeping their weight at a minimum and reducing the energetic cost of flight. Individuals without their own defended source of food must intrude into territories and are likely to be chased; the intruders consume as much nectar (to crop capacity) as the opportunity provides. Crops are filled late in the day in preparation for roosting; the crop contents serve as a “supplemental energy storage depot” during the night. Although a high level of early-morning consumption might be expected after a night of fasting, studies found a fairly even feeding rate at feeders throughout the day, until peaking 1–2 hours before sunset1.

I filmed this video of my early morning companion, scanning the sky for intruders, chasing them off and finding a little time to preen. Enjoy!

For more great bird photos, check out WildBirdWednesday and The Bird D’pot. Two excellent memes for bird photographers and enthusiasts!

References:1Birds of North America Online

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan is an avid birder and amateur photographer living on the Pacific Flyway near the Central Valley of Northern California. He is a board member of his local Audubon Society and is a bird and wildlife conservationist. Larry contributes to several wildlife conservation organizations and is a BirdLife International "Species Champion." He is also Habitat Manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Western Burrowing Owl population in the United States. Larry has been blogging about birds since September of 2007 at TheBirdersReport.com

Share this post with your friends

  • 1
    Share


Facebook Comments

2
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
avatar
Minx_in_LA
Minx_in_LA

just gorgeous…I love the bright pink headed ones! He’s such a little pugilist. Obviously thinks he’s as big as a hawk, in his own mind!

Charlie Twofeather
Charlie Twofeather

Lovely! Thank you