Another update: going onto day three of “Bill” at the feeder.
Update: as of Tuesday late afternoon, the BBLH is still at our feeder, defending it against the local Anna’s hummers, happily zipping about under the pine and between our yard and the neighbor’s.
A series of rapid, smacking clicks and a rich chip caught my ear as I was making mugs in the studio, and I looked up to catch a dark emerald at the hummingbird feeder under the Palo Verde.
A glittering green hummer with no light feathers on its belly? This was worth risking the mugs drying before I could get rim coils onto them, so I went out with my binox and little camera to stake out the feeder. I didn’t have to wait long: a male Broad-billed hummingbird is working our backyard. If I lived in Tucson, this wouldn’t be exciting. But this is a species that usually sticks to Sonoran desert foothills and southeastern Arizona; they can be found 50 miles east of here (for instance, in the oasis of Boyce Thompson Arboretum), but only once have I ever seen one in the low desert, and that was several years ago at the Desert Botanical Garden, a couple of miles from here. This is a species whose range is usually shown as just coming up into the southwestern US from Mexico. So, this little guy is a “yard bird” for us… a never-before-seen species for our property.
(All photos A.Shock, click to enlarge!)
Perhaps the unusual cold pushed it down into the Metro area from the foothills: our Chuparosas were in full bloom when last week’s extreme cold hit, killing almost every single spray of nectar-filled blossoms, and it’s even colder up around Superior — the food sources higher up must be few and far between. This little guy is aggressively holding his own against the Anna’s who are the more usual residents.
I managed to get some lousy pix, but here they are anyway — I’m too excited by having a Broad-billed hummer in the yard to self-edit! And in fact, the blurriest photo — of the speeding little glinting shuttlecock coming in fast to chase a competitor off of the feeder — is my fave. We’ll see how long he hangs around.