Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Four Different Kinds of Hummingbirds

 We usually have lots of hummingbirds this time of year as they prepare for their long journey south. They have completed their parenting duties and are fattening up before their epic flight. The most common type around here is the Broad-tailed Hummingbird. (Please note: some of these pictures have either been taken on dark days in the rain or directly into the sun and are not very good)

The Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are the ones with the distinctive whistle or buzz that you hear as they fly around. The buzz is actually caused by their feathers and is loudest when they do their courtship dive.

The males have dark throats which appear bright red when the sun hits it just right.

We have lots of flowers in the yard - which they love.

I never noticed the speckles under his tail before.

This is the plainer female Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

The smallest bird in North America is the Calliope Hummingbird. The male also has a red throat - but it appears in streaks instead of solid red. This one was less than 3" long. This is the first year we have identified Calliope Hummingbirds in our yard and we have several.

This is a Black-chinned Hummingbird with black and a beautiful purple throat.

It's really difficult to get a decent picture showing the purple.

Another view of the small Calliope Hummingbird.

This is the bully of the hummingbirds - the Rufous Hummingbird, named for the color on his back. He will guard "his" food source and drive away anyone else who tries to have a drink. It makes for a delightful time watching the hummingbird circus. Did you see his drinking buddy?

The bees are becoming a problem!

I'm beginning to wonder if my camera is having a problem. I just can't seem to get the quality I want.

Why is it that the plainer females pose so nicely when the light is just right - but the prettier males refuse???

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