We’ve been watching a hummingbird Hen — we think she’s an Anna’s (Calypte anna) — on a nest since the middle of February. Lots of people have passed close to her chosen spot, which was fairly low in a crooked Aleppo pine in our backyard, right over a gravel path through the side of the garden. There was a big wind storm, and chilly late-winter temperatures.
>> Hummingbird nestling (photo A.Shock; click to embiggen)
But the Hen kept sitting, and we finally saw the results of her diligence: one slightly fluffy, fairly well-grown chick peering out over the edge of the small cup-like nest (see photo above). There’s going to be one more influx of people in the next couple of days to try its courage. But at least the weather is warm now, and many more flowers are blooming, including some recovered chuparosa flowers, so when the new little bird fledges, there should be lots of nectar and gnats to learn on.
And, for those who follow this blog regularly, I believe I forgot to mention here the last appearance of the unusual (for Phoenix) male Broad-billed hummingbird in our yard last month. He stuck around until the 16th of February, and we haven’t seen him since.
In other hummingbird news around the yard, yesterday, March 14, we saw our first-of-season Black-chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) at one of the feeders.
<< Black-chinned hummingbird magnet (Three Star Owl/A.Shock)
Or rather, saw and heard: the males’ wings produce a whirring zizzz in flight: usually we hear them in the yard before we see them. These hummers are slender, and the males have a black head which shows a purple swash at the bottom edge along their neck, but only if the light is just right.