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Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Anna's Hummingbird

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2017

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Copyright © 2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I had heard there was a rare white Hummingbird in Santa Cruz at UC Santa Cruz’s Arboretum last year, but didn’t see it when I was there photographing Allen’s Hummingbirds that come to winter there.

This year a friend and I went over to find the tree it had been spotted  hanging out in and we found both the tree and the rare white Hummingbird straight-away.

Rare White Hummingbird

Here’s a  description of Leucism, “Leucism, a developmental condition resulting in the loss of pigmentation. Unlike albino birds, which can’t produce the pigment melanin, leucistic birds produce melanin but can’t deposit it into their feathers. Albino birds also have red or pink eyes, but this hummingbird’s eyes are black, along with its bill and feet.

What makes this Hummingbird so rare is that it is almost completely white. Most leucistic birds are only partially affected, and have white patches of feathers amid colored plumage.”~Audubon.org

I spoke with a woman working at the Arboretum after my visit to find out if this is the same Leucistic Anna’s Hummingbird that was there last May and she said, “they believe it is”.

Leucistic Hummingbird

It’s so striking, and pretty isn’t it?   Poor thing has some kind of infection on its bill. I asked about that too, but they haven’t captured the Hummer to do any tests on it. So, they don’t know what the infection is. She did say  he’s (it’s a male) getting better and the Hummingbird is zipping around acting healthy so, they’re letting nature run its course.

Leucistic Allen's Hummingbird

It flew away from its tree a few times, and I found it in the little fountain bathing but I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo of that. Unfortunately I spooked it.  I did manage a few images of it preening and cleaning its feathers afterwards though. Here’s one.

Preening Rare White Hummingbird

It was quite a treat to find this beauty so quickly, and observe it for a short while. It’s the first Leucistic bird of any kind I’ve ever seen.

I hope it returns next year and I’m lucky enough to see it again.

I hope you all have a wonderful week-end!

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman STEEL Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Here’s the post I promised on Monday here that I would be sharing this week about a birding surprise.

After sunrise, and a little birding last Saturday Gordon, myself, and another friend went to breakfast then we headed over to another part of Don Edward’s Wildlife Refuge to check out the Anna’s Hummingbird on her nest.

I had heard from a good friend that she had had her brood of two. There were indeed two chicks in the nest, and their eyes were open!

They waited for Mama to return to the nest with food! They were so quiet. I thought they would be peeping constantly, but they didn’t.  They look too big for the nest already don’t they.  Mom must sleep on top of the nest with them smooched down into the nest to keep them warm at night.

This nest isn’t deep in the canopy either! It’s pretty exposed.

Anna's Hummingbird Chicks eyes open

When the chicks are new their Mom will leave the nest for very short periods of time. Just a minute up to 15 minutes to find food. The chicks can’t keep warm without her so she doesn’t dare leave them alone long. Once they can regulate their own temperatures and keep warm she leaves the nest to forage for food for up to 20 minutes.  This Mom would leave for 15-20 minutes, but return to do buzz or hover check several times too.

Here is the Female/Mom just returning from a food sortie.

Anna's Hummingbird Female Returns to her Brood

Two little beaks hungry and not patient anymore.

Anna's Hummingbird with Hungry Chicks

Food at last!

She eats insects and drinks nectar which she regurgitates as a liquid mixture into the open mouths of the chicks.  She’s on the go constantly hunting for food and feeding the chicks every 20 minutes! The male doesn’t help at all feeding or raising the chicks. If the male does come around the Female will chase him away b/c she finds him a threat to the chicks.

Anna's Hummingbird Feeding her Chicks

These chicks are already a couple of weeks old. At 3 weeks old they will look more like Hummingbirds, and will be testing out their wings more to get ready for flight.  Once they’re flying the Female will show them how to catch bugs, and drink nectar, and within a few days of that the chicks will fly away as adults never to return to the nest.

I can’t tell you how amazing this was to watch and photograph! It was gift!  It’s so moving, and beautiful watching her feed the chicks and knowing how dedicated she is, and how tired she must be. These images were made on March 18, 2017

I dropped by Thursday afternoon (3/23) to see them. They were still in the nest with Mama feeding them every 20 minutes. There was quite a crowd there, and I had #1 Grandson with me. He got a kick out seeing the chicks too. I didn’t break out my camera today. I was holding #1 in my arms so he could see them, but I’m hoping I can get back over once more before they fly from the nest which may be as early as a week and a half away.

For more information about Hummingbird chicks you can visit http://www.worldofhummingbirds.com/baby.php

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2017

Have a wonderful week-end everyone!

More to come…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Anna's Hummingbird Female landing on the Nest

Anna's Hummingbird Female tongue out on nest

Anna's Hummingbird Female Feeding

Anna's Hummingbird Female

Anna Hummingbird Female on the Nest

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm @450mm| f/8| Lexar Professional Digital Film|PS CC 2017

More to come…

 

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I went over to Santa Cruz on Saturday while we had a break between rain showers to photograph Allen’s, and Anna’s Hummingbirds. It was a lovely day in the Arboretum.

There were very few people there since the weather wasn’t ideal.  While I was waiting for a male Allen’s Hummingbird to return to a favored perch I looked behind me and saw a lovely female Anna’s darting around the Ericaceae plants which is a succulent plant.

Here’s a series of 3 images that shows her approach to the plant, feeding, then resting on a perch.

Anna's Hummingbird Female Approaching flowers

Anna's Hummingbird Female Feeding

Anna's Hummingbird Female perched on a branch

I love the fresh Spring color palette in this series, and this pretty little Hummingbird.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm VR| Tripod w/ Wimberley SideKick| Lexar Professional Digial Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…

 

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A friend and I went over the hill  yesterday to photograph Allen’s Hummingbirds.

“Over-the-Hill”, is how we long time locals say we’re going to Santa Cruz, CA.  We have to go up and over the Santa Cruz mountains to get there. They are mountains not hills, but I learned this phrase as a girl and use it to this day. You know how that is I’m sure. 🙂

Anyway, Allen’s Hummingbirds. They’re residents of Southern California, and northwestern Mexico, and migrate into southern Mexico for winter, and in breeding season migrate north along the coastal areas.  Luckily, they have found a lovely late Winter home in Santa Cruz where I’ve been able to view and photograph them for several years now.

Their colors are so different from the Anna’s Hummingbirds that I see year round.

Allen's Hummingbird Male

They’re also quite funny, and sometimes their expressions and posture make me laugh out loud. Like this move I call- On Guard!

On Guard!

It still makes me laugh!

They have the most beautiful Gorget that gleams a brilliant orange when the sun hits it just right.

Allen's Hummingbird Male

It’s always a joy to see them and spend a couple of hours in their company.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…

 

 

 

Copyright ©2015 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This is my first photograph and sighting of a Rufous Hummingbird! I’m still so excited about seeing this little Hummer. So, I’ve posted this image instead of a macro for this week’s Project 52 image.

P52 34 of 52  Rufous Hummingbird-Female

Instead of carrying my long lens I decided to take my Lumix FZ200 to use if any wildlife or birds came along. I’m sort of getting the hang of this Bridge Camera. I just need to use it more. I’m planning to take it on He-Man’s Birthday Cruise which is just around the corner! It will be easier packing, carrying it around, and I won’t need a tripod.

Panasonic Lumix FZ200 @ 108mm = 648mm in 35mm format | f5| 1/1600s| ISO 160| Manual Priority| Pattern Metering|Lexar Professional Digital Film|CS6

More to come…

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