Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27-Winter Hummer

Bring it on! © Kate Lynch
Three or four Anna's hummingbirds visit my two feeders on the front porch regularly. Anna's are in Washington, Oregon, and California all year long, so keep up your feeders if you live here. This guy has claimed the territory and chases off other hummingbirds. The others slip in when he's off doing something else. He spends a lot of time in the plum tree, which is about eight feet from my front porch and the feeders. More hummer images are in my Hummingbird Gallery.

If I puff myself up, I'll look at least 5" big! © Kate Lynch
I've decided to name him Jim, in honor of the Jim Croce song about Big Jim Walker: You don't tug on Superman's cape. You don't spit into the wind. You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger. And you don't mess around with Jim.

Taking a scratch break © Kate Lynch
He's not quite used to me yet. The Anna's guy who wintered with me a couple of years ago would meet me at the feeder when I brought it out. This one won't approach the feeders until I go back inside the house. He also wasn't very cooperative for our portrait sessions. He reacts to the camera shutter clicks like I am a competing bird, warning me with a chee-chee-chee. Then he moves deeper into the tree behind small branches.

I am hummer, hear me chirp © Kate Lynch
He alternates between grooming behavior and aggressive displays to keep other hummingbirds away. He tolerates the seed-eating birds but keeps a very close eye on them.

Branch protection © Kate Lynch
I have been photographing hummingbirds in Washington and Arizona, where I used to live, for several years. As you may have figured out, I am fascinated by these feisty little birds. They are the only bird that can fly backwards. The sound of their wings as they whiz by your head is like a Star Wars lightsaber. Duck! The Anna's metallic magenta display is more obvious in the winter. In the summer their heads often look black. More hummer images are in my Hummingbird Gallery.

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