Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rufous boys are back - Jim's not happy

The plum tree and the crocuses bloom in very early spring in this part of Washington, sometimes late February. We know spring is really here when the rufous hummingbirds return. The guys return first, scope out food sources, and wait for the girls to get here.

I saw some smaller hummers at the feeder this week but they were in shadow, so I assumed they were Anna's.

I don't remember seeing rufous hummers when I lived in Arizona. Probably because a family of Costa's hummingbirds took up residence in the olive tree in front of my house...and the feeder. Costas look very similar to Annas. The males have purple instead of magenta on their heads.

Female rufous are less colorful but still have a rusty orange - rufous - coloring. Some of my favorite hummer images are in my Hummer gallery.

I watched the feeders for about an hour, first from the window, then outside on the porch and in the front yard. Two rufous guys were feeding together...well, one on each feeder. They took off and a couple of seconds later, "Jim" the male Anna's landed on the same feeder.

Jim was not happy about the intruders. He stationed himself in the plum tree until dark, regularly shooing away rufous visitors to the birdie spa.

Looks like it's time to move one of the feeders to the other side of the house. 

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