While visiting Big Baby Boy and The Dark Haired Beauty earlier this month I went out early one morning to photograph the flowers that were in bloom and saw to my delight an Allen’s Hummingbird male flitting around and landing on a Bottlebrush Bush.
I haven’t seen these or hardly any Hummers where I live now so this really was a treat seeing this one. Aren’t his colors wonderful.
Male and female Allen’s Hummingbirds use different habitats during the breeding season. The male sets up a territory overseeing open areas of coastal scrub or chaparral, where he perches conspicuously on exposed branches. The female visits these areas, but after mating she heads into thickets or forests to build a nest and raise the young.
Allen’s Hummingbirds breed in a narrow strip of habitat along coastal Oregon and California. But within their tiny range two subspecies occur. One (Selasphorus sasin sasin) migrates to a small area in Mexico for the winter while the other (S. s. sedentarius) stays put in southern California year-round.
The Allen’s Hummingbird is a remarkably early migrant compared with most North American birds. Northbound birds may depart their wintering grounds as early as December, arriving on their breeding grounds as early as January when winter rains produce an abundance of flowers.
Like other birds, Allen’s Hummingbirds use their feet to help control their body temperature. When it’s cold outside they tuck their feet up against their bellies while flying, but when temperatures soar, they let their feet dangle to cool down.
The oldest recorded Allen’s Hummingbird was at least 5 years 11 months old when she was captured and rereleased in California during banding operations in 2009. She was banded in the same state in 2004.~allaboutbirds.org
It’s going to be blustery and chilly here this week-end with maybe some snow and rain in the mountains so, I’ll be near home this week-end. I hope you have something fun planned!
While out for good long walk along the river recently I spied a Spring/ Summer visitor perched on a fence. The Western Kingbird. They’re one of the birds with lovely yellow in their coloring that visit here.
I think they’re so cheery with their bright yellow feathers, and gray heads.
They are in the Flycatcher family that hunts flying insects from its perch on a fence, trees, or utility wires.
They’re also famous for chasing and scolding intruders like Red-tailed Hawks, and American Kestrels.
The Western Kingbird’s breeding range has been spreading for the last century as an unplanned result of human activities. By planting trees and installing utility poles in open areas, people have provided hunting perches and nest sites, and by clearing forests they have created open habitats suitable for foraging.
Though known as birds of the West, Western Kingbirds tend to wander during fall migration. They show up along the East Coast, between Florida and Newfoundland, every autumn—but only rarely during the spring. In 1915 Western Kingbirds began spending winters in Florida, where they are now regular winter residents.
Western Kingbirds aggressively fend off predators and other kingbirds from their territories. The males warn off intruders with harsh buzzes or whirring wings. Both males and females snap their bills and raise their red crowns (normally hidden under gray feathers on their heads) when provoked. As the breeding season wears on, each pair defends a smaller and smaller territory. By mid-incubation time the territory includes the nest tree and little else.
The Western Kingbird was originally known as the Arkansas Kingbird, but scientists changed its name to acknowledge its wide range across western North America.
The oldest Western Kingbird on record was a male, and at least 6 years, 11 months old, when he was found in South Dakota. ~allaboutbirds.org
We’ve been having big, strong winds lately so my sinus’ are a bit of a mess, but we’re looking at nice sunny days for the week-end here and hopefully the wind mellows out too.
I’ve been thinking about photographing the upcoming Lunar Eclipse. I won’t be able to see the entire thing from start to finish, but I’ll be able to see Totality. I’ll probably just photograph it from my yard. What about you, are you planning to watch it or photograph it?
I hope you all have a lovely week-end, and to all the Mom’s and Grandmother’s, I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day! 🌼💗
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