Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Anna’s Hummingbird

Seward, Alaska

The rain stopped and Ava’s Place was hopping today. WILSON’S, YELLOW-RUMPED, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS flitted through the leaves, gleaning caterpillars and other insects. PINE SISKINS gobbled down thistle seed from the net feeder while youngsters begged. 

A young HAIRY WOODPECKER inspected the wood trim and banged experimentally on the roof while the smaller DOWNY WOODPECKERS checked out the suet feeders. SONG SPARROWS, including youngsters, hopped along the porch and poked through the grass under the porch feeders.

But the star of the show was the male ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD. He zipped in to the sugar water feeder, rested on the handy perch, and slurped it down, sending up air bubbles. When he turned towards me, his brilliant gorget flashed metallic gold-yellow-orange-magenta-green, an unexpected burst of flames.

Seeing him, I realized that I too, was visited by an Anna’s male that hovered for a millisecond at my kitchen window on August 9th. The encounter was so brief and unusual, I dismissed it when a RUFOUS female showed up at the feeder a short time later.

Ava noted that she has had RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS pass through just about every day since the majority of local residents left in mid-July. She attributes this to a range extension beyond Seward. The Anna’s probably represents a range extension as well, as Homer hosted two last winter and two were recently reported there.

Ava requested that visiting birders slow down to a crawl after they turn onto her driveway and approach. All the birds are very flighty and your chances of seeing her birds will be greatly increased.

As the forecasted rain returns, once bright flowers become less inviting, making fresh sugar water in the hummingbird feeders more important to fuel these phenomenal midgets.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

1 comment: